Inequality in Wages Among Men: An Examination of the Bachelor Wage Penalty

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Title: Inequality in Wages Among Men: An Examination of the Bachelor Wage Penalty
Author: Manton, Marion Rose
Advisors: Jeffrey C. Leiter, Committee Member
Catherine R. Zimmer, Committee Chair
Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Committee Member
Theodore N. Greenstein, Committee Member
Abstract: Married men earn more than single men. Statistically significant wage disparities have been documented in each of twelve industrialized countries. These analyses have ignored the impact of cohabitation on wages. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households, this study extends the research designs of earlier studies by including the cohabiting status of unmarried men. It investigates the adequacy of the needs, wife as a resource, and statistical discrimination theories. The inclusion of the cohabiting variable suggests that marriage is a stronger predictor of income than cohabitation status. The cohabitation variable also casts doubt on both the needs theory and the wife as a resource theory. There is no evidence to suggest that the presence of a partner and family causes an employer to provide a wage premium as suggested by the needs theory. Nor is there evidence to suggest that the presence of a child or workplace participation by a partner results in a wage penalty as suggested by the wife as a resource argument. The most important finding in this work is the interaction effect between experience and marital status for never married men. Since I use cross-sectional data I cannot present a life course interpretation. However, for this group of men, the interaction effect suggests that at the outset, married men do earn more than never married men, but with more years of experience these differences disappear. This finding supports statistical discrimination.
Date: 2003-07-30
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Sociology

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