By: Hirschl, Thomas A., Altobelli, Joyce, and Mark R. Rank.

Using income data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this study finds that married indviduals are more likely to have a period of affluence than unmarried individuals, regardless of age.  At age 45, 33% of married individuals had experienced a period of affluence compared to 16% of unmarried individuals.  By age 65, 42% of married individuals had experienced affluence relative to 18% of unmarried individuals.  The percentage of married individuals experiencing a repeated period of affluence within five years of first affluence was 10% at age 45 and 22% at age 65 compared to 6% at age 45 and 7% at age 65 for unmarried individuals.  These trends hold when comparing across race, gender, and presence of children.

Does marriage increase the odds of affluence? Exploring the life course probabilities. Journal of Marriage and Family 65 (4): 927-38.