The authors wish to thank an anonymous referee for many helpful comments.
Who Benefits from Marriage?*
Article first published online: 6 OCT 2008
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Department of Economics, University of Oxford, 2008
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Volume 71, Issue 1, pages 1–33, February 2009
How to Cite
Maasoumi, E., Millimet, D. L. and Sarkar, D. (2009), Who Benefits from Marriage?. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 71: 1–33. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0084.2008.00515.x
- Issue published online: 16 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 6 OCT 2008
- Final Manuscript Received: May 2008
The phenomenon that married men earn higher average wages than unmarried men – the marriage premium – is well known. However, the robustness of the premium across the wage distribution and the underlying causes of the marriage premium are unclear. Focusing on the entire wage distribution and employing recently developed semi-non-parametric tests for quantile treatment effects, our findings cast doubt on the robustness of the premium. We find that the premium is explained by selection above the median, whereas a positive premium is obtained only at very low wages. The causal effect at low wages may be attributable to employer discrimination.