Social Insurance and the Marriage Market

Reprint No. 2020:2

Author(s): Petra PerssonYear: 2020 Title: Journal of Political Economy Volume (No.): 128 (1) Pages: 252–300
Online article (restrictions may apply)

Social insurance is often linked to marriage. Existing evidence suggests small marital responses to financial incentives and stems from settings where benefits are realized in the near future. I analyze how linking survivors insurance to marriage affects the marriage market. Exploiting Sweden’s elimination of survivors insurance, I demonstrate that severing this link (1) affected entry into marriage up to 50 years before expected payout, (2) raised the divorce rate by 10%, and (3) raised the assortativeness of matching. This suggests that marital behavior is a key component of couples’ strategies to plan for financial security in old age.

Persson, Petra (2020), "Social Insurance and the Marriage Market". Journal of Political Economy 128(1), 252–300.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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