Gains from marriage

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2013

18 Pages, Grade: 2,7



List of tables

1. Introduction

2. Differences of Behavior between Married and Unmarried Men
2.1 Working Life.
2.2 Home and Social Life

3. Empirical Aspect of Marriage.
3.1 Effect of Children and Marriage on Men`s Annual Work Hours.
3.2 Effect of Marriage on Income and Wages

4. Conclusion



List of tables

Table 1:Effects of marriage, children and cohabitation on men`s annual work hours.

Table 2: Effects of son and daughter on men`s annual work hours

Table 3: Percentage Gain in Wages by Married, Divorced and Separated Men Over Never- Married Men with No Children.

Table 4: Differences in Average Income and Family Size Among Families with Children by Marital Status and Sex of Household

Table 5: Estimates of Marriage Premiums from NLS Wage Regressions. White Males, 1976, 1978,

Table 6: Performance Model for Line Personnel

1. Introduction

“ Marriage is the union of a man and a woman who make a permanent and exclusive commitment to each other of the type that is naturally fulfilled by bearing and rearing children together, and renewed by acts that constitute the behavioral part of the process of reproduction. ” (Girgis, George and Anderson, 2012, p. 245)

Marriage is one of the most important establishments, which affect people´s life and satisfaction. Marital establishments regulate sexual relations and induce commitment between spouses. Marriage has positive effects, especially on spouses’ health and their income (Stutzer and Frey, 2006, p. 326).

The purpose of this study is to analyze the existence of job-productivity difference between married couples and singles. The first and main part of the paper seeks to differentiate married males from single males both at work and home to assess marriage related performance dissimilarities (Mehay and Bowman, 2005, P. 63). Here some theoretical discussions are presented.

This paper analyzes the effect of children to the marriage and working hours of men. It takes gender into consideration for researching the impact of children to married man as well. Current investigations concerning the influence of marriage give reason for the estimation that marriage changes the lifestyle of men more then women. Hence this paper focuses rather on the investigation of married men then married women. As a completion of the life of men, the women take place in this study too.

The aim of this study is to show different approaches to identify why married men earn more than single men and search for the reasons of longevity of married man. The study also gives an answer to the question whether marriage makes people happy or not. The second part is concerned with important academic contributions to research the effect of children and marriage on men`s work hours and income. Final section summarizes the main findings and draws a conclusion.

2. Differences of Behavior between Married and Unmarried Men

2.1 Working Life

It is a fact that married men behave differently in contrast to the unmarried men. Gain of marriage is mostly associated to men`s earning (Lundberg, 2010, p. 32). Pollmann-Schult (2011) claims that employers pay higher salary to married men although there are no productivity differences between married and single employees (Pollmann-Schult, 2011, p 160). Married men work harder in order to take care of his family. Marriage is positive related with work hours as well as wages. Furthermore married man obey the rule, don`t like to take risk (risk averse). All these characteristics make a married man as a perfect employee, which every employer is looking for (Lundberg, 2005, p. 595).

In response to Lundberg, the paper of Shaw investigates the effect of the spouse’s income on the husband`s quit rate and assumes that the wife`s income increases the risk tendency and quit likelihood of the husband (Shaw, 1987, p. 534). “Quits are defined to be an employee-initiated job separations arising in the process of job research. An individual quits when the expected value of alternative employment surpasses the expected value of the current job” (Shaw, 1987, p. 535). According to risk-averse preferences, the decision to quit is more possible when the wife is working because total household wealth can be divided between the risky quit decision and her less risky present employment (Shaw, 1987, p. 534).

The positive effect of wife`s earnings on the husband`s quit probability is tested empirically in the study of Shaw. To test the hypothesis longitudinal data from Panel Study of Income Dynamics are used. The results are quite similar with the assumption. The coefficient on the wife`s share of household income is positively correlated with the quit equation. The predicted quit rate increases from 4.4 % to 6.4 % when the wife`s contribution to household income rises from 0 % to 40 % (Shaw, 1987, pp. 534-535).

There are other cases, in which wives don`t work at all or give up working. When a child is born, her mother won`t be able to work and therefore her husband increases his work hours which leads specialization (Lundberg et al., 2005, p. 4). Specialization needs some coordination. Each agent must decide which task to take. Well-defined specialization of labor prevents from the possible collapse of different tasks (Baker and Jacobsen, 2007, p. 764).

Women are rather specialized in household activities and men are specialized in market work (Lundberg et al., 2005, p. 4). A gender division of labor may increase well-being, but this improvement is on the whole well-being may not be pareto gain for both sides (Baker and Jacobsen, 2007, p. 769). Specialization can be risky, in case husbands can die or become ill or they can lose their job. As a result the family is left without income (Oppenheimer, 1997, p. 447).

Married men have not just responsibilities as a husband but as a father too. Studies show that children effect the work hours of married men too. Even the gender of a child plays a big role in a life of married men. Gender of a child can be observed as an exogenous variable regarding to labor outcomes (Lundberg et al., 2005, p. 3). According to the study of Lundberg (2005) the impact of a first son is larger then a daughter, but can not be shown significantly. It is also mentioned that daughters have an insignificant negative effect, which will be analyzed in details in empirical part of this paper.

The study of Lang (2005 citied in Lundberg et al. 2005, p. 3) claims that there is not a significant difference between the effect of a son and a daughter on men`s wages, whereat the results of literature are mix. In contrast to the studies of Lundberg, in the study of Coverman and Sheley, which was conducted between 1965 and 1975, men`s domestic hours do not increase by children.

Furthermore men`s working hours do not differ by spouse´s employment status (Coverman and Sheley, 1986, pp. 419-420). It should be mentioned that information on spouse`s employment status was not available in 1965 so that analyses regarding wife`s employment status are based only on the data in 1975 (Coverman and Sheley, 1986, p. 419). Another important point to mention is that the study took place in a period, which women`s attendance in the labor force grew from 39.3% to 46.4% (Coverman and Sheley, 1986, p. 413).

2. Differences of Behavior between Married and Unmarried Men

2.2 Home and Social Life

Married men behave not only differently in working life but also in home and social life. With marriage staying out with friends cancel. Here play wives a big role, who monitoring their husband`s activities. As staying out late cancels, married men sleep earlier, which makes it easier to go work (Lundberg, 2005, pp. 595-597).

Having children may affect men`s psychological states and behavior. Fatherhood may change men`s social life in different ways (Eggebeen and Knoester, 2001, p. 383). Fatherhood may mean spending less time with friends but at the same time it means spending much more time in social links that directly or indirectly attached to the child. For instance, children are a ground to increase neighborliness for adults who have equally aged children (Eggebeen and Knoester, 2001, p. 383).

Fatherhood may inject a feeling of responsibility into others or declare to men that they have someone to live for, which encouraging positive behaviors. Both of these perspectives may encourage men to take care of their health. That can be the reason why married men report themselves as healthier than before (Eggebeen and Knoester, 2001, pp. 382-383).

Children may affect men`s participation in school related organizations such as the Parent Teacher relation. There are also indications regarding the role of father increases men`s engagement in religious movements. Church participation rates are greater among married men with children then men who are non-fathers (1995 citied in Eggebeen and Knoester, 2001, p. 383).

As a result of changes in the utility function of men and women, men prefer to spend much more time at home. A wife takes care her husband`s health by controlling his behavior (Lundberg et al., 2005, p. 4). Hence, reduction of risky behavior like usage of drug and alcohol can be observed (Lundberg, 2005, p. 597). The study of Coombs confirms the results of Lundberg. The mortality rate of single men, which was caused by cirrhosis (probably alcohol related), is three times higher than married men (Coombs, 1991, p. 97). He assumes that the reason of longevity of married man could be the emotional protection and support of their wives (Coombs, 1991, p. 97).

The paper of Stutzer and Frey investigates the relation between marriage and happiness in a longitudinal data set during the period 1984-2000. In order to examine the differences in gains from marriage, the data of the German Socio-Economic Panel is used. The study is constrained to people who get married in the test period for 17 years (Stutzer and Frey, 2006, pp. 326-330). Furthermore, they investigate the subjective happiness with the help of the following question “How satisfied are you with your life, all things considered?” Responses are ranked from 0 to 10, whereat 0 refer to “completely dissatisfied (Stutzer and Frey, 2006, p. 330).

As a result, most of the happiness is experienced during the first years of marriage. The study of 133.952 observations from 15.268 people shows a positive effect of getting married on satisfaction with life in contrast to single people (Stutzer and Frey, 2006, p. 330). Singles, who have partner, have a satisfaction level somewhere between single people and married people. In comparison with life satisfaction between occupied and unoccupied people, being married is almost three tenth as good for life satisfaction as being employed (Stutzer and Frey, 2006, p. 330).

Interestingly, women are barely more satisfied then men in contrast to many other studies. Another interesting result is that people, who are separated, not only less satisfied during marriage, but also less satisfied before marriage, which can lead to the discussion that marriage doesn`t really make people happy, but happy people just get married (Stutzer and Frey, 2006, p. 330-342). The study finds evidence that couples, who have almost same level of education, are more satisfied from marriage then the couples, who have different levels of education (Stutzer and Frey, 2006, p. 343).

According to the study of Verbrugge and Balaban single men show the most health decline (1989 citied in Coombs, 1991, p. 98). In addition to that Robertson has found out in his study of 3.974 men and 5802 women that more single men were applied to a mental hospital in compare to married men (1974 citied in Coombs, 1991, p. 98). Furthermore married men are more satisfied with life than married women. The reason is married men receive more emotional support from their spouse in contrast to married women (Coombs, 1991, p. 100). The main reason can be that women have been brought up according to certain morals like conditioning to look forward to marriage (Coombs, 1991, p. 100).

The wives do not just support their husbands emotionally, they also supply their husband with children who are socially accepted as his, but the prostitute does not. Because value of paternity is more precious, the eagerness to pay for sex in marriage is higher than for sex somewhere else (Edlund and Korn, 2002, p. 185). Beside this, having sex with same partner is much more safe.

We define child quality as a constant k, if we assume that all women are similarly good wives. Hence, the payment paid in equilibrium in the marriage must be same for all wives (Edlund and Korn, 2002, p. 193). In case that not all men are getting married, they pay their reservation price. In an interior equilibrium, men are identical. It does not matter, if they get married or they are single. In consideration of child quality is constant, the choice between being a wife and being prostitute depend on consumption. If a women is a wife, her budget constraint is[Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten]. If a women is a prostitute, her budget constraint is [Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten], where refers to the price of commercial sex. In an interior equilibrium, incomes must equalize as following (Edlund and Korn, 2002, p. 193):

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

This equalization attaches the marriage and the prostitution market to each other.

3. Empirical Aspect of Marriage

3.1 Effect of Children and Marriage on Men`s Annual Work Hours

Lundberg (2005) studied in her paper the effect of family status and children on men`s labor market outcome and annual work hours. She used in her paper German data and her own estimates from the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and compared several results of estimation.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 1:Effects of marriage, children and cohabitation on men`s annual work hours (Lundberg, 2005, p. 596)

In Table 1 investigations of several authors are collected. According to this table marriage is positively related to men`s work hours in Germany as well as in the U.S. Standard errors are written in parentheses.


Excerpt out of 18 pages


Gains from marriage
University of Kassel
Population Economics
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ISBN (Book)
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Children, Married Men, Unmarried Men, Emprical Aspects of Marriage
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Sevgi Erdin (Author), 2013, Gains from marriage, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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