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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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Length:
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. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "Evaluating the impact of education on earnings in the UK: Models, methods and results from the NCDS," IFS Working Papers W03/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Anderson, Gordon, 1996. "Nonparametric Tests of Stochastic Dominance in Income Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1183-93, September.
  3. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Almas Heshmati, 2000. "Stochastic dominance amongst swedish income distributions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 287-320.
  4. Oliver Linton & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2002. "Consistent Testing for Stochastic Dominance: A Subsampling Approach," STICERD - Econometrics Paper Series 433, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Sajeda Amin & Ashok S. Rai & Giorgio Topa, 1999. "Does Microcredit Reach the Poor and Vulnerable? Evidence from Northern Bangladesh," CID Working Papers 28, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
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  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  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.
  10. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald, 2003. "Consistent Tests for Stochastic Dominance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 71-104, January.
  11. Donna K. Ginther & Madeline Zavodny, 2001. "Is the male marriage premium due to selection? The effect of shotgun weddings on the return to marriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 313-328.
  12. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.
  16. Robert A. Nakosteen & Michael A. Zimmer, 1987. "Marital Status and Earnings of Young Men: A Model with Endogenous Selection," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 248-268.
  17. 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.
  18. Audrey Light, 2004. "Gender differences in the marriage and cohabitation income premium," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 263-284, May.
  19. Duncan, Greg J & Holmlund, Bertil, 1983. "Was Adam Smith Right after All? Another Test of the Theory of Compensating Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 366-79, October.
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  21. Kaur, Amarjot & Prakasa Rao, B.L.S. & Singh, Harshinder, 1994. "Testing for Second-Order Stochastic Dominance of Two Distributions," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(05), pages 849-866, December.
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  23. Imbens, Guido W & Rubin, Donald B, 1997. "Estimating Outcome Distributions for Compliers in Instrumental Variables Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 555-74, October.
  24. Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 2001. "On the relevance of first-order asymptotic theory to economics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 83-86, January.
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  26. 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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  28. repec:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:5:p:849-66 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Millimet, Daniel L. & Nieswiadomy, Michael & Ryu, Hang & Slottje, Daniel, 2003. "Estimating worklife expectancy: an econometric approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 83-113, March.
  30. Cornwell, Christopher & Rupert, Peter, 1997. "Unobservable Individual Effects, Marriage and the Earnings of Young Men," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 285-94, April.
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