Happiness of Women and Men in Later Life: Nature Determinants and Prospects

  • Easterlin R
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As they move into and through the retirement years women’s advantage over men in happiness is reversed. Although the happiness of both sexes is affected similarly by retirement from work, marital disruption, and changes in income and health, the difference between men and women in the life cycle occurrence of retirement and widowhood results in different trends in happiness. Men who survive to older age benefit disproportionately from the positive effect on happiness of retirement, while women suffer disproportionately from the adverse effect of widowhood. For women and men in the same work and marital circumstances, women continue to be happier than men. In the future, the turnaround in the relative happiness of women and men in later life is likely to continue, but the shift will be somewhat smaller in magnitude.

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  • Richard A. Easterlin

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