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Is the male marriage premium due to selection? The effect of shotgun weddings on the return to marriage

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  • Donna Ginther
  • Madeline Zavodny

Abstract

In standard cross-sectional wage regressions, married men appear to earn 10 to 20 percent more than comparable never-married men. One proposed explanation for this male marriage premium is that men may be selected into marriage on the basis of characteristics valued by employers as well as by spouses or because they earn high wages. This paper examines the selection hypothesis using a "natural experiment" that may make marital status uncorrelated with earnings ability for some men. We compare the estimated marriage premium between white men whose first marriages are followed by a birth within seven months and other married white men in the United States. Married men with a premarital conception generally have a lower return to marriage than other married men. Our results suggest that a substantial portion of the marriage premium is due to selection.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 97-5.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Population Economics, June 2001
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:97-5

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Keywords: Demography ; Wages;

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  1. Robert G. Wood, 1995. "Marriage Rates and Marriageable Men: A Test of the Wilson Hypothesis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 163-193.
  2. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  3. Angrist, Joshua D, 1995. "Introduction to the JBES Symposium on Program and Policy Evaluation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 133-36, April.
  4. repec:fth:coluec:443 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Daniel, K., 1991. "Does Marriage Make Men More Productive?," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-2, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  6. Ronald Meng & Jim Sentance, 1984. "Religion and the Determination of Earnings: Further Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(3), pages 481-88, August.
  7. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
  8. Blackburn, McKinley & Korenman, Sanders, 1994. "The Declining Marital-Status Earnings Differential," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 247-70, July.
  9. Cornwell, Christopher & Rupert, Peter, 1997. "Unobservable Individual Effects, Marriage and the Earnings of Young Men," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 285-94, April.
  10. Griffin, Peter & Ganderton, Philip T., 1996. "Evidence on omitted variable bias in earnings equations," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 139-148, April.
  11. Kermit Daniel, . "A Note on Mark Testa, et al., "Employment and Marriage Among Inner-City Fathers"," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 89-3a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  12. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Birth Order, Schooling, and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S121-45, July.
  13. Eng Seng Loh, 1996. "Productivity Differences and the Marriage Wage Premium for White Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 566-589.
  14. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L & Katz, Michael L, 1996. "An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 277-317, May.
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  1. Marriage, wages & exploitation
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-05-13 13:10:36
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