The marital earnings premium: an IV approach

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    Abstract

    Numerous studies find that married men earn more than single men. However, identifying whether and why marriage affects earnings is complicated by the fact that marriage market outcomes are jointly determined with potential earnings. As such, I exploit exogenous variation in marriage induced by the introduction of no-fault divorce laws in the USA to estimate the effect of marriage on the earnings of men. I find a 38% causal increase of marriage on earnings of husbands. This increase in earnings is explained by a large increase in labor market work after marriage. My findings are robust to the possibility of unobserved heterogeneity in the effect of marriage on earnings across individuals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)709-747
    JournalEmpirical Economics
    Volume62
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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