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Productivity, Wages and Marriage: The Case of Major League Baseball

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  • Francesca Cornaglia
  • Naomi E. Feldman

Abstract

The effect of marriage on productivity and, consequently, wages has been long debated in economics. A primary explanation for the impact of marriage on wages has been through its impact on productivity, however, there has been no direct evidence for this. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by directly measuring the impact of marriage on productivity using a sample of professional baseball players from 1871 - 2007. Our results show that only lower ability men see an increase in productivity, though this result is sensitive to the empirical specification and weakly significant. In addition, despite the lack of any effect on productivity, high ability married players earn roughly 16 - 20 percent more than their single counterparts. We discuss possible reasons why employers may favor married men.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Cornaglia & Naomi E. Feldman, 2011. "Productivity, Wages and Marriage: The Case of Major League Baseball," CEP Discussion Papers dp1081, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1081
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    Keywords

    Productivity; wage gap; marriage; and baseball;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General

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