This thesis studies the effect of six of the world religions (Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism) on female marriage and life satisfaction. Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker proposed a theory on marriage claiming that individuals seek to maximize their utility through marriage. However, in some religions, individuals are coerced into marriage or have an arranged marriage, and thus it is unlikely that such individuals maximize their utility. This paper uses cross-national time series data from the World Value Survey to determine if the marriage happiness premium gap (MHPG) is exacerbated across aforementioned religions. As indicated by the results, religion increased the likelihood of marriage for females, as religious females were 1.4 percentage points more likely to get married than nonreligious females; the largest gap was encountered for Hindu women who were 9.9 percentage points more likely to get married than nonreligious women. When analyzing the gap in marriage between males and females, the largest gap was encountered in Orthodoxy, in which females were 9.3 percentage points less likely to get married than males. Finally, when looking at life satisfaction, it was determined that for Catholicism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, and Buddhism, males and females received roughly the same satisfaction premium from marriage, while Islamic and Hindu females received an additional satisfaction premium from marriage.
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