Higher School of Economics, Institute of Demography, Building D, 40–1, Myasnitskaya, Moscow 101000, Russia.
“Behind Every Great Man…”: The Male Marriage Wage Premium Examined Qualitatively
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2014
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2014
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 76, Issue 1, pages 37–55, February 2014
How to Cite
Ashwin, S. and Isupova, O. (2014), “Behind Every Great Man…”: The Male Marriage Wage Premium Examined Qualitatively. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76: 37–55. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12082
- Issue published online: 13 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 13 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 2 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Received: 26 MAR 2012
- qualitative methodology
Studies across diverse national contexts reliably show that married men earn more than unmarried men, but the mechanisms responsible for this are still disputed. This article explores the male marriage wage premium from a new perspective, using longitudinal qualitative data from Russia (N = 94). Qualitative research is particularly suited to identifying underlying processes and, by analyzing men's accounts of the influence of their marital trajectories on their work, the authors were able to reexamine existing hypotheses and develop new ones. They propose 4 mechanisms that they hypothesize can influence men's work motivation and performance: premarital planning, 2 distinct “breadwinner” effects using expectancy and self determination theory, and monitoring by wives. They integrate these mechanisms within gender theory, arguing that the treatment aspect of the male marriage wage premium is an outcome of the “coproduction” of masculinity within marriage. Their recontextualization of existing theory also enables them to reveal weaknesses in the specialization hypothesis.