Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 373–389 | Cite as

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

  • Niklas Jakobsson
  • Andreas Kotsadam


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.


Labor supply Marriage Marriage premium Wage 

JEL Classification

J12 J31 



The paper has benefited from comments by seminar participants at the University of Gothenburg, University of Karlstad, and Norwegian Social Research. We would also like to thank Henning Finseraas, Katarina Katz, Mikael Svensson, and Måns Söderbom for useful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian Social Research (NOVA)Elisenberg, OsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of OsloBlindern, OsloNorway

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