, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 961–983 | Cite as

The Marriage Wealth Premium Revisited: Gender Disparities and Within-Individual Changes in Personal Wealth in Germany

  • Philipp M. LerschEmail author


This study examines the association between marriage and economic wealth of women and men. Going beyond previous research that focused on household wealth, I examine personal wealth, which allows identifying gender disparities in the association between marriage and wealth. Using unique data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (2002, 2007, and 2012), I apply random-effects and fixed-effects regression models to test my expectations. I find that both women and men experience substantial marriage wealth premiums not only in household wealth but also in personal wealth. However, I do not find consistent evidence for gender disparities in these general marriage premiums. Additional analyses indicate, however, that women’s marriage premiums are substantially lower than men’s premiums in older cohorts and when only nonhousing wealth is considered. Overall, this study provides new evidence that women and men gain unequally in their wealth attainment through marriage.


Marriage premium Wealth Gender Life course 



I thank Fenaba Addo, Barbara Fulda, Marita Jacob, and Yvonne Lott for helpful comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. All errors remain my own.

Supplementary material

13524_2017_572_MOESM1_ESM.docx (368 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 368 kb)


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Sociology and Social PsychologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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