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Why Wait? The Effect of Marriage and Childbearing on the Wages of Men and Women

Author

Listed:
  • David S Loughran
  • Julie Zissimopoulos

Abstract

The authors use data from the earlier and later cohorts of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to estimate the effect of marriage and childbearing on wages. Their estimates imply that marriage lowers female wages by between two and four percent in the year of marriage. Marriage also lowers the wage growth of men and women by about two and four percentage points, respectively. A first birth lowers female wages by between two and three percent, but has no effect on wage growth. Male wages are unaffected by childbearing. These findings suggest that early marriage and childbearing can lead to substantial decreases in lifetime earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • David S Loughran & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2008. "Why Wait? The Effect of Marriage and Childbearing on the Wages of Men and Women," Working Papers WR-482-1, RAND Corporation.
  • Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:wr-482-1
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    File URL: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2008/RAND_WR482-1.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Margaret Nowak & Marita Naude & Gail Thomas, 2012. "Sustaining Career through Maternity Leave," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 15(3), pages 201-216.
    2. Nikolay Angelov & Per Johansson & Erica Lindahl, 2016. "Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Pay," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 545-579.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    marital status; mothers-employment; fathers-employment; wages-men; wages-women; income distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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