Panel Data Reveal How Men and Women Fare in Sickness and in Divorce

Fellow Frank Furstenberg of the University of Pennsylvania is the coauthor of a study that finds that male spouses are just as likely to care for their wives during illness as wives are to care for their husbands, which is counter to previous studies suggesting that women do disproportionately more of the caregiving in a situation where one spouse is seriously ill.

Using the German Socio Economic Panel, which is modeled after the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), Furstenberg and coauthor Laura Langner of Oxford University focused on 538 German couples, in which one spouse had become seriously ill. While the study finds that male caregivers are just as responsive as female caregivers when faced with a severely ill spouse, it is true that women do more housework when there is no seriously ill spouse.

The German Socio-Economic Panel is also the data source for an article in the upcoming November 2018 volume of The ANNALS.

In their ANNALS article, coauthors Kenneth Couch (University of Connecticut), Richard Burkhauser (Cornell), Galgun Bayaz-Ozturk (CUNY City Tech), and Richard Hauser (Goethe-University of Frankfurt) use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and the PSID to show how the economic well-being of men and women differ after a marriage ends.