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Unobservable Individual Effects, Marriage and the Earnings of Young Men

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  • Cornwell, Christopher
  • Rupert, Peter

Abstract

While there is compelling evidence that married men earn more than unmarried men, the source of this premium remains unsettled. Using panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men, the authors show that much of the premium normally attributed to marriage is associated with unobservable individual effects that are correlated with marital status and wages. To the extent there is a gain, it is purely an intercept shift and no more than 5 percent to 7 percent. Their findings cast doubt on the interpretation that marriage enhances productivity through specialization. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:35:y:1997:i:2:p:285-94
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