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The Earnings Effects of Marital Status: Results for Twelve Countries

Publication Abstract

Schoeni, Robert F. "The Earnings Effects of Marital Status: Results for Twelve Countries." PSC Research Report No. 90-172. 3 1990.

When estimating a male wage equation one often includes, among other variables, the individual's marital status as a regressor. In most studies marital status is usually represented by a dichotomous variable, and its coefficient is most often large and significant. However, there is rarely much discussion of this effect. This effect is the central focus of this paper. This paper investigates the impact of marital status on the earnings of males 25 to 64 years of age across twelve countries using the Luxembourg Income Study data base. The coefficients on marital status are found to be statistically significant in all countries and quite large in most. Controlling for age, and, when available, education, full/part-time work, and location, marriage premiums in annual earnings in favor of currently married males range from 3 percent to 31 percent in the twelve countries. It is also found that the magnitude of the marriage effect on male earnings varies considerably with age. The mean marriage premium for males ages 30 and 50 across the twelve countries analyzed is 13.6 percent and 19.7 percent, respectively.

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