Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2022:10: Relative Income, the Breadwinner Norm, and Mental Health in Couples

Demid Getik ()
Additional contact information
Demid Getik: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: School of Economics and Management, Box 7080, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The share of couples where the wife out-earns the husband is increasing in many countries. In this paper, I investigate how this income dynamic affects mental health. Using data on all Swedish couples who married in 2001, I show that mental health is positively associated with own and spousal income. However, it is negatively linked to the wife’s relative income. Crossing the threshold where the wife starts earning more increases the likelihood of a mental health diagnosis by 8-12 per cent. This effect does not appear driven by divorce or spouses being on different income trajectories.

Keywords: gender; mental health; income; relative income

JEL-codes: I12; I19; I21; I31; J16; J24

Language: English

44 pages, June 15, 2022

Full text files

WP22_10 PDF-file Full text

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Prakriti Thami ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2024-03-12 14:17:17.