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Why Wait? The Effect of Marriage and Childbearing on the Wages of Men and Women

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  • David S. Loughran
  • Julie Zissimopoulos

Abstract

The authors use data from the earlier and later cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to estimate the effect of marriage and childbearing on wages. Their estimates imply that marriage lowers female wages by between two and four percent in the year of marriage. Marriage also lowers the wage growth of men and women by about two and four percentage points, respectively. A first birth lowers female wages by between two and three percent, but has no effect on wage growth. Male wages are unaffected by childbearing. These findings suggest that early marriage and childbearing can lead to substantial decreases in lifetime earnings.

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File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2008/RAND_WR482-1.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 482-1.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:482-1

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Related research

Keywords: marital status; mothers-employment; fathers-employment; wages-men; wages-women; income distribution;

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Cited by:
  1. Troske, Kenneth R. & Voicu, Alexandru, 2010. "Joint estimation of sequential labor force participation and fertility decisions using Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 150-169, January.
  2. Cornaglia, Francesca & Feldman, Naomi E., 2011. "Productivity, Wages, and Marriage: The Case of Major League Baseball," IZA Discussion Papers 5695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
  4. Adam Isen & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Women’s Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 107-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Julie Zissimopoulos & Benjamin Karney & Amy Rauer, 2008. "Marital Histories and Economic Well-Being," Working Papers 645, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  6. Martin Dribe & Paul Nystedt, 2013. "Educational Homogamy and Gender-Specific Earnings: Sweden, 1990–2009," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1197-1216, August.
  7. Martin Dribe & Jan Van Bavel & Cameron Campbell, 2012. "Social Mobility and Demographic Behaviour: Long Term Perspectives," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(8), pages 173-190, March.
  8. Elizabeth Ty Wilde & Lily Batchelder & David T. Ellwood, 2010. "The Mommy Track Divides: The Impact of Childbearing on Wages of Women of Differing Skill Levels," NBER Working Papers 16582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bonilla, Roberto & Kiraly, Francis, 2013. "Marriage wage premium in a search equilibrium," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 107-115.
  10. Bellou, Andriana, 2013. "The Impact of Internet Diffusion on Marriage Rates: Evidence from the Broadband Market," IZA Discussion Papers 7316, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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