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

57 Pages Posted: 17 May 2011

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

Using a sample of professional baseball players from 1871-2007, this paper aims at analyzing a longstanding empirical observation that married men earn significantly more than their single counterparts holding all else equal (the "marriage premium"). Baseball is a unique case study because it has a long history of statistics collection and numerous direct measurements of productivity. Our results show that the marriage premium also holds for baseball players, where married players earn up to 16 percent more than those who are not married, even after controlling for selection. The results hold only for players in the top third of the ability distribution and post 1975 when changes in the rules that govern wage contracts allowed for players to be valued closer to their true market price. Nonetheless, there do not appear to be clear differences in productivity between married and nonmarried players. We discuss possible reasons why employers may discriminate in favor of 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. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5695, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1842092 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1842092

Francesca Cornaglia (Contact Author)

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

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Economics ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905
Israel
9190501 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
66
Abstract Views
856
rank
221,045
PlumX Metrics