Using data from the Current Population Survey March Supplement 1999, this study examines why married men earn more than men who have never married. We find that the marriage wage premium cannot be attributed to the unobservable higher earnings capability of married men. Instead, wage gains from marriage are explained by the degree of specialization within the household. Our findings cast doubt on the argument that the selection of high‐ability men into marriage is the cause of the marriage wage premium.
Chun, H., &Lee, I. (2001). Why do married men earn more: Productivity or marriage selection?. Economic Inquiry, 39(2), 307-319.