Does marriage really make men more productive?
This paper presents new descriptive evidence regarding marital pay premiums earned by white males. Longitudinal data indicate that wages rise after marriage, and that cross-sectional marriage premiums appear to result from a steepening of the earnings profile. Data from a company personnel file that includes information on job grades and supervisor performance ratings reveal large marital status pay differences within a narrow range of occupations (managers and professionals) and environments (a single firm). Married workers tend to be located in higher paying job grades; there are very small pay differentials within grades. Married men receive higher performance ratings than single men; as a result, they are much more likely to be promoted. Controlling for rated performance, however, eliminates the promotion differential.
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