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Author: Harford, Kathleen
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Reed, W. Robert
Harford, Kathleen
The Marriage Premium and Compensating Wage Differentials
Journal of Population Economics 2,4 (December 1989): 237-265.
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Springer
Keyword(s): Marital Status; Marriage; Wages; Working Conditions

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Most studies indicate that male married workers earn ten to forty percent more than male single workers. Previous explanations of this earnings differential have hypothesized that this is due to a positive correlation between marital status and unobserved productivity. We propose and test an alternative explanation of the marriage premium that relies upon compensating wages and differences in workers' preferences. If male married workers are earning higher wages than single workers because they are substituting wages for nonpecuniary compensations, then it may be possible to observe the married workers receiving lesser nonpecuniary compensations. I.e., corresponding to a "marriage premium" in wages there may be a "marriage penalty" in nonpecuniary compensations. Using two samples of white, male workers drawn from the NLSY, 1979-1985, we find evidence that marital status is significantly associated with less attractive work dimensions. Previous research on this topic is reevaluated and found to be consistent with this compensating wages hypothesis of the marriage premium.
Bibliography Citation
Reed, W. Robert and Kathleen Harford. "The Marriage Premium and Compensating Wage Differentials." Journal of Population Economics 2,4 (December 1989): 237-265.