Date: 09 Oct 2013

Does marriage affect men’s labor market outcomes? A European perspective

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Does marriage make men more productive, or do more productive men marry? Previous studies have reached different conclusions but have also been conducted using different methodologies in different countries and in different time periods. We use two sources of European panel data (spanning the years 1994–2001 and 2003–2007) to assess the relationship between marriage and labor market outcomes. By using data from 12 countries over a 13 year period, we are able to investigate the impact of marriage in different country groups and across time. We find that selection into marriage accounts for most of the differences in hours worked and wages between married and non-married men. With respect to wages we note that while the difference between married and non-married males has increased over time, the actual effect of marriage has disappeared.