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Marriage Premium and Class

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Roberto Bonilla Trejos, Dr Francis Kiraly, Professor John WildmanORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a working paper that has been published in its final definitive form by CESifo Group, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


We present an equilibrium model with inter-linked labour and marriage markets and argue that search frictions play an important role in explaining the male marriage wage premium. If within households men are viewed as breadwinners, this expectation affects their job search behaviour and it can lead to (rankable) marital earnings gaps. Male productivity heterogeneity is neither necessary nor sufficient for such marriage premium. However, with additional female heterogeneity in the marriage market, the reservation wages chosen by men who differ in productivity also determine equilibrium marriage classes which in turn have their own patterns of marital wage differentials. Using UK data on wages, male and female heterogeneity as well as marriage classes, we carry out the .rst empirical test of the role of search frictions in generating male marriage wage premium.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bonilla R, Kiraly F, Wildman J

Publication type: Working Paper

Publication status: Published

Journal: CESifo Working Paper Series

Year: 2017

Publisher: CESifo Group