MALE MARITAL WAGE DIFFERENTIALS: TRAINING, PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS, AND FIXED EFFECTS

Authors

  • WILLIAM M. RODGERS III,

    1. Rodgers III: Professor and Chief Economist, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 33 Livingston Avenue 5th Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Phone 1-732-932-4100, ext 783, Fax 1-732-932-3454, E-mail wrodgers@rci.rutgers.edu
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  • LESLIE S. STRATTON

    1. Stratton: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Virginia Commonwealth University, 301 West Main Street, PO Box 844000, Richmond, VA 23284-4000. Phone 1-804-828-7141, Fax 1-804-828-9103, E-mail lsstratt@vcu.edu; IZA, Bonn, Germany; and CIM, Aarhus, Denmark
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    • *We are grateful to seminar participants at the Danish National Institute of Social Research, Århus University, Uppsala University, Amsterdam’s Institute for Labor Studies, IZA, and the workshop on Family Decisions and Family Policy held in Århus, Denmark, as well as to Jacobsen and referees for valuable comments. Responsibility for the contents rests solely with the authors.


Abstract

Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, we replicate previous estimates of the marital wage differential for white men, extend the analysis to African American men, then explain the within and between race differentials. We first control for formal job training, then for cognitive skills, parental background, and self-esteem with little effect. By contrast, the white differential but not the black differential disappears in fixed-effects estimation. We reconcile the cross-section/panel differentials by focusing on the distinct identification conditions employed by each technique. Men who never change marital status play a significant role in white cross-sectional estimates. (JEL J31, J12)

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