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The Distribution of Returns to Marriage

Author

Listed:
  • Maasoumi, Esfandiar

    () (SMU)

  • Millimet, Daniel

    () (SMU)

  • Sarkar, Dipanwita

    () (SMU)

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Millimet, Daniel & Sarkar, Dipanwita, 2005. "The Distribution of Returns to Marriage," Departmental Working Papers 0503, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:0503
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    File URL: https://ftp1.economics.smu.edu/WorkingPapers/2005/millimet/msm.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Optimism in the labour market
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-09-07 20:36:00
    2. Married politicians
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2010-06-01 17:28:12

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    Cited by:

    1. Katherin Barg & Miriam Beblo, 2008. "Does Marriage Pay More than Cohabitation?: Selection and Specialization Effects on Male Wages in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 82, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage premium; stochastic dominance; difference-in-differences; instrumental variable; nonparametric; selection;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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