Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some lurve advice from Dr Kev

Doubtless many people would like me to advise them on their love life but are too shy, why else has it never happened after all? So what are the secrets of a happy relationship? One common axiom is that "opposites attract". Well even if they do, are you better off being different from your partner?
Below I graph subjective happiness against the difference in the education of oneself and ones partner - so high values mean is more educated than ones partner.Data is ESS for Ireland & UK.
As you can clearly see there is a downward sloping trend. So if you are more educated than you're loved one one you will regret it. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Mark McG said...

I don't know Dr Kev, seems pretty stable from 0-2. On the other hand it's always better to be less educated than your partner at the margin (if I'm reading it correctly). Then combined happiness would be highest in mismatches. (3, -3) looks optimal from a social planner's point of view. Of course if you only care about your own happiness then it looks like there could be hidden costs to education!

Martin Ryan said...

I tried "should i marry someone with" as a partial search. No mention of Ph.D., thankfully!

Kevin Denny said...

If you do say an ordered probit of the happiness scale on the education difference and controlling just for sex then you can reject the hypothesis that the coefficient is zero, p=.001 !
But you raise the interesting issue of one's partner's happiness. From the social planners point of view it depends on the extent to which you internalize their happiness. If it was perfectly internalized then I think the line would be flat as their happiness cancels out your misery or vice versa?
In any event, logically everybody can't be married to people with higher education.