Are All the Good Men Married? Uncovering the Sources of the Marital Wage Premium
A longstanding and yet unsettled question in labor economics is: does marriage cause men's wages to rise? Cross-sectional wage studies consistently find that married men earn significantly higher wages than do men who are not currently married. However, it is well-known that inferring causal relationships from crosssectional analysis is inappropriate because of the biases introduced by unobserved heterogeneity. As a means of circumventing this problem, this paper uses data on identical twins to control for unobserved heterogeneity. Our estimates suggest that marriage increases men's wages by as much as 27%, and that little, if any, of the cross-sectional relationship between marriage and wages is due to selection. In addition, we find little evidence that the marital-wage premium is a consequence of household specialization.
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Volume (Year): 94 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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- 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 285-294, April.
- 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.
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- Ashenfelter, Orley & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Estimates of the Economic Returns to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1157-1173, December.
- Alan Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," NBER Working Papers 4143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Leslie S. Stratton, 2002. "Examining the Wage Differential for Married and Cohabiting Men," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(2), pages 199-212, April.
- Jeffrey S. Gray, 1997. "The Fall in Men's Return to Marriage: Declining Productivity Effects or Changing Selection?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 481-504. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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