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Keywords:

  • event history analysis;
  • life course;
  • marital history;
  • marriage;
  • mortality;
  • selectivity

In this article, we analyze how the marital biography is affecting mortality in Germany today (N = 12,484). We find support for temporal selection into marriage for both genders, but the effect is stronger for men. In addition, protection through marriage results from long-term accumulation of survival advantages and from the attenuation of higher mortality risks that occur immediately after a transition into or out of a marriage. Moreover, women are more likely to keep survival advantages from previous marriages and to forget about survival disadvantages from divorces and widowhood.