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The Disappearance of the Marriage Wage Premium

The Disappearance of the Marriage Wage Premium

(p.161) 10 The Disappearance of the Marriage Wage Premium
Birth Quake
Diane J. Macunovich
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes the marriage wage premium. Married men with stay-at-home wives earn a much higher premium than married men with working wives and use this to argue in favor of real productivity effects. Number of years married would be expected to increase a man's marriage wage premium. Increasing relative cohort size was a major factor in the loss of the marriage wage premium and stagnation in average male wages observed over the last twenty years. Women's tendency, as they entered the labor force, to replace their own home production with purchased goods and services generated a marked increase in the proportion of jobs in low-wage retail and service sectors—and men holding such jobs tend to benefit little from any increased specialization in marriage.

Keywords:   marriage wage premium, married men, relative cohort size, male wages, labor force, jobs

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