Productivity, Wages, and Marriage: The Case of Major League Baseball

65 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2010 Last revised: 15 Apr 2012

See all articles by Francesca Cornaglia

Francesca Cornaglia

Queen Mary University of London; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), CEP; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Naomi E. Feldman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Economics

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Date Written: August 3, 2011

Abstract

The effect of marriage on productivity and, consequently, wages has been long debated in economics. A primary explanation for the impact of marriage on wages has been through its impact on productivity, however, there has been no direct evidence for this. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by directly measuring the impact of marriage on productivity using a sample of professional baseball players from 1871-2007. Our results show that only lower ability men see an increase in productivity, though this result is sensitive to the empirical specification and weakly significant. In addition, despite the lack of any effect on productivity, high ability married players earn roughly 16-20 percent more than their single counterparts. We discuss possible reasons why employers may favor married men.

Keywords: Marriage Premium, Wage Gap, Productivity, Baseball

JEL Classification: J31, J44, J70

Suggested Citation

Cornaglia, Francesca and Feldman, Naomi E., Productivity, Wages, and Marriage: The Case of Major League Baseball (August 3, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1714994 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1714994

Francesca Cornaglia

Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, E14NS
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), CEP ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Naomi E. Feldman (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905
Israel
9190501 (Fax)

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