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The Distribution of Returns to Marriage

  • Maasoumi, Esfandiar

    ()

    (SMU)

  • Millimet, Daniel

    ()

    (SMU)

  • Sarkar, Dipanwita

    ()

    (SMU)

The phenomenon that married men earn a higher wage on average than unmarried men, the so-called marriage premium, is rather well established. However, the robustness of the marriage premium across the wage distribution and the underlying cause of the marriage premium are not well known. Focusing on the entire wage distribution and employing recently developed nonparametric tests for stochastic dominance, our findings question the current conception of the marriage premium, calling instead for the introduction of a broader concept incorporating wage dispersion. This broader notion arises from evidence suggesting that the marriage premium is primarily confined to the lower tail of the wage distribution; the premium is negligible at best in the upper tail. Finally, the majority of the premium is explained by selection, but there is a small role for ‘causal’ explanations.Length: 54 pages

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Paper provided by Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 0503.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:0503
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, P.O. Box 750496, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0496

Phone: 214-768-2715
Fax: 214-768-1821
Web page: http://www.smu.edu/economics

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  1. Oliver Linton & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2002. "Consistent Testing for Stochastic Dominance: A Subsampling Approach," FMG Discussion Papers dp407, Financial Markets Group.
  2. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Duncan, Greg J. & Holmlund, Bertil, 1983. "Was Adam Smith Right, After All? Another Test of the Theory of Compensating Wage Differentials," Working Paper Series 93, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. Audrey Light, 2003. "Gender Differences in the Marriage and Cohabitation Income Premium," Working Papers 03-04, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Blackburn, McKinley & Korenman, Sanders, 1994. "The Declining Marital-Status Earnings Differential," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 7(3), pages 247-70, July.
  6. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Almas Heshmati, 2000. "Stochastic dominance amongst swedish income distributions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 287-320.
  7. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
  8. 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.
  9. Abadie A., 2002. "Bootstrap Tests for Distributional Treatment Effects in Instrumental Variable Models," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 284-292, March.
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  11. Bratberg, E. & Grasdal, A. & Risa, A.E., 2000. "Evaluating Social Policy by Experimental and Nonexperimental Methods," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen 1700, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  12. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David Neumark & Daiji Kawaguchi, 2001. "Attrition Bias in Economic Relationships Estimated with Matched CPS Files," NBER Working Papers 8663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Daniel L. Millimet & Esfandiar Maasoumi, 2005. "Robust inference concerning recent trends in US environmental quality," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 55-77.
  15. Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 1986. "The Measurement and Decomposition of Multi-dimensional Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 991-97, July.
  16. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "Evaluating the impact of education on earnings in the UK: models, methods and results from the NCDS," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19451, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  17. Amin, S. & Rai, A.S. & Topa, G., 2000. "Does Microcredit Reach the Poor and Vulnerable? Evidence from Nothern Bangladesh," Papers 28, Chicago - Graduate School of Business.
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  21. Chun, Hyunbae & Lee, Injae, 2001. "Why Do Married Men Earn More: Productivity or Marriage Selection?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 307-19, April.
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  25. 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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  27. repec:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:5:p:849-66 is not listed on IDEAS
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  29. Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 2001. "On the relevance of first-order asymptotic theory to economics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 83-86, January.
  30. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," NBER Working Papers 7968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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