Household Specialization And The Male Marriage Wage Premium
Vanderbilt University - Law School; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics
Leslie S. Stratton
Virginia Commonwealth University - School of Business - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 54, pp. 78-94, October 2000
Empirical research has consistently shown that married men have substantially higher wages, on average, than otherwise similar unmarried men. One commonly cited hypothesis to explain this pattern is that marriage allows one spouse to specialize in market production and the other to specialize in home production, enabling the former - usually the husband - to acquire more market-specific human capital and, ultimately, earn higher wages. The authors test this hypothesis using panel data from the National Survey of Families and Households. The data reveal that married men spent virtually the same amount of time on home production as did single men, albeit on different types of housework. Estimates from a fixed effects wage equation indicate that the male marriage wage premium is not substantially affected by controls for home production activities. Household specialization, the authors conclude, does not appear to have been responsible for the marriage premium in this sample.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Date posted: October 27, 2000