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Marriage and Money: Variations across the Earnings Distribution

  • Mark Western


    (The University of Queensland)

  • Belinda Hewitt

    (The University of Queensland)

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    This paper uses Australian data from the Negotiating the Life Course Project 1997 to investigate the impact of marriage on men’s and women’s earnings. We extend earlier earnings research and investigate whether the effect of marriage is constant for men and women at different points on the conditional earnings distribution by using robust and quantile regression techniques. We find no association between marriage and wages for women, but for men a large and significant premium exists with married men earning around $5,700 per annum more than their unmarried counterparts, after adjusting for human capital, job and family characteristics. Overall, there are very few differences in the association between marriage and earnings for men and women across the wage distribution. Although, importantly, we find that the returns to marriage tend to be smaller and non-significant for men at the top of the distribution than for men in the middle of the distribution.

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    Article provided by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School in its journal Australian Journal of Labour Economics.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 163-179

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    Handle: RePEc:ozl:journl:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:163-179
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