The Long-Term Consequences of the Irish Marriage Bar

41 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Irene Mosca

Irene Mosca

National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUI Maynooth)

Robert Wright

University of Strathclyde in Glasgow; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

A Marriage Bar is the requirement that women in certain jobs must leave that job when they marry. Ireland had a Marriage Bar in place until the 1970s. In 2014/2015, women participating in the The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing were asked - for the first time in a nationally-representative survey - specific questions about their experience of the Marriage Bar. In this paper, we use the information from the TILDA respondents for two purposes. The first is to investigate the extent of the Marriage Bar in Ireland. Our analysis suggests that the Marriage Bar was widespread and not confined to specific sectors or occupations (such as the Civil Service).The second purpose is to investigate the long-term consequences of the Marriage Bar. We do so by comparing the outcomes of women who were affected by the Marriage Bar with the outcomes of women who were not affected by the Marriage Bar. Regression analysis shows that women affected by the Marriage Bar have shorter working lives, lower individual income but higher wealth at present, more children and more educated children. However, there are no statistically significant differences in the current health status of the two groups of women. The differences in long-term outcomes do not appear to be confounded by the endogeneity of marriage, education, employment and occupational choices.

Keywords: Marriage Bar, Ireland, discrimination

JEL Classification: J71, J78, J24

Suggested Citation

Mosca, Irene and Wright, Robert, The Long-Term Consequences of the Irish Marriage Bar. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12301, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390291

Irene Mosca (Contact Author)

National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUI Maynooth) ( email )

Maynooth, County Kildare W23 F2H6
Ireland

Robert Wright

University of Strathclyde in Glasgow ( email )

16 Richmond Street
Glasgow 1XQ, Scotland G1 1XQ
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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