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Marriage: Cause or mere indicator of future earnings growth?

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald Mincy

    (Maurice V. Russell Professor, Social Policy and Social Work Practice, Columbia University, School of Social Work)

  • Jennifer Hill

    (Associate Professor of Applied Statistics, New York University, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development)

  • Marilyn Sinkewicz

    (Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, School of Social Work)

Abstract

The hypothesis that marriage increases men's earnings has contributed to legislative support for the Healthy Marriage Initiative (HMI). However, previous studies of this phenomenon have not controlled for many relevant characteristics that select men into marriage, nor have they focused on low-income, unmarried fathers-the population targeted by HMI. We use the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, which measures many previously unobserved confounders, to test for a relationship between marriage and earnings. We use a variety of analytic strategies to control for selection (including differencing and propensity scores) and find no evidence of an effect of transitions to marriage on the earnings of unmarried fathers that differs from zero, either for the full sample or subsamples defined by race-ethnic category and baseline cohabitation status. © 2009 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Mincy & Jennifer Hill & Marilyn Sinkewicz, 2009. "Marriage: Cause or mere indicator of future earnings growth?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(3), pages 417-439.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:417-439
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20439
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Jeandidier & Helen Lim, 2015. "Is there justification for alimony payments? A survey of the empirical literature," Working Papers of BETA 2015-30, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    2. G. Miller & Yuriy Pylypchuk, 2014. "Marital Status, Spousal Characteristics, and the Use of Preventive Care," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 323-338, September.
    3. H. Elizabeth Peters & Kosali Simon & Jamie Rubenstein Taber, 2014. "Marital Disruption and Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 20233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Marcia J. Carlson & Lawrence M. Berger, 2010. "What Kids Get from Parents: Packages of Parental Involvement across Complex Family Forms," Working Papers 1272, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    5. Bradley Heim & Ithai Lurie & Kosali I. Simon, 2017. "The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Provision on Childbearing, Marriage, and Tax Filing Behavior: Evidence from Tax Data," NBER Working Papers 23092, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. H. Peters & Kosali Simon & Jamie Taber, 2014. "Marital Disruption and Health Insurance," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(4), pages 1397-1421, August.
    7. Ong, David & Wang, Jue, 2015. "Income attraction: An online dating field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 13-22.
    8. repec:pri:crcwel:wp10-13-ff is not listed on IDEAS

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