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The Male Marital Wage Premium: Sorting Versus Differential Pay

  • Petersen, Trond
  • Penner, Andrew
  • Hogsnes, Geir
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    We investigate whether the male marital and parenthood premia arise due to differential pay by employers or from differential sorting of employees on occupations and establishments. We investigate these premia in Norway using matched employee-employer data in the period 1980–97, a country where public policy has made it easier to combine family and career, with the clearest first-order impact on women, but with possibly attendant increased pressures on men to be more active in the family sphere. We find that the effect of marriage, and to a lesser extent of children, occurs mostly through sorting on occupations and occupation-establishment units. The role of differential pay from employers is marginal in explaining the marital and parenthood premia. We also find that about 50–75% of the martial premium is due to selection. The men who eventually marry and/or have children sort into the higher paying occupations and occupation-establishment units even prior to marriage and parenthood. There are no marital premia on wage growth within establishments, but marital premia on promotions. Part of the marital wage premium is thus due to higher promotion rates for married men.

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    Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt2053f73v.

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    Date of creation: 24 Oct 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt2053f73v
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    Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iir_iirwps/

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    1. Harry A. Krashinsky, 2004. "Do Marital Status and Computer Usage Really Change the Wage Structure?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
    2. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina, 2001. "Children and Career Interruptions: The Family Gap in Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:ese:iserwp:2005-01 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    5. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the effect of personality on male and female earnings," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
    6. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
    7. Ribar, David C., 2004. "What Do Social Scientists Know About the Benefits of Marriage? A Review of Quantitative Methodologies," IZA Discussion Papers 998, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 1999. "Persistence of Interindustry Wage Differentials: A Reexamination Using Matched Worker-Firm Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 492-533, July.
    9. 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.
    10. Jacobsen, Joyce P & Rayack, Wendy L, 1996. "Do Men Whose Wives Work Really Earn Less?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 268-73, May.
    11. Joni Hersch & Leslie S. Stratton, 2000. "Household specialization and the male marriage wage premium," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 78-94, October.
    12. Kenny, Lawrence W, 1983. "The Accumulation of Human Capital during Marriage by Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(2), pages 223-31, April.
    13. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Leslie S. Stratton, 2007. "Is Marriage Poisonous? Are Relationships Taxing? An Analysis of the Male Marital Wage Differential in Denmark," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 412-433, October.
    14. Abbigail J. Chiodo & Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "For love or money: why married men make more," The Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Apr, pages 10-11.
    15. Kate Antonovics & Robert Town, 2004. "Are All the Good Men Married? Uncovering the Sources of the Marital Wage Premium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 317-321, May.
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