Share This Episode
Family Policy Matters NC Family Policy Logo

How Marriage Impacts Income

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
January 25, 2014 12:00 pm

How Marriage Impacts Income

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 475 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

January 25, 2014 12:00 pm

NC Family  president John Rustin talks with Mark Steckbeck, Ph.D., assistant professor of economics at the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business at Campbell University in North Carolina, about an article he wrote for the Winter 2014 issue of  Family North Carolina  magazine, entitled, “The Marriage Wage Premium: The Financial and Personal Benefits of Marriage”.

Building Relationships
Dr. Gary Chapman
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

This is family policy matters. This program is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research and education organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family, and often the studio hears John Rushton, president of the North Carolina family policy Council, thank you for joining us this week. Profamily policy matters. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Mark back to the program Dr. stick back is assistant professor of economics at the Lundy Federman school of business at Campbell University in North Carolina. He is the author of the feature article in the Winter 2014 issue of North Carolina family policy accountant quarterly magazine family North Carolina. That article is entitled the marriage wage premium the financial and personal benefits of marriage in order to be talking to Dr. stick book today about that article and in particular the economic benefits of marriage. Dr. stuck back welcome to the program. Thank you for your great will we appreciate you very much and appreciate your contributions to the most recent issue of our magazine. You begin your article in family North Carolina by noting that earning at least a four-year college degree is associated with a higher income, something known as the college wage premium and that certainly should come as no surprise to our listeners.

You also argue in the article that there is another, but lesser-known wage premium that is in our quote nearly as significant as that enjoyed by college graduates you call this the marriage wage premium if you would define what the marriage wage premium is for us and explain how it works will with the college wage premium. Those who do get an undergraduate degree earn more than their cohorts that do not have an undergraduate degree which makes interview assume that their human capital has increased the marriage wage premium is very similar. It's just a there are no socioeconomic requirements are no educational requirements. Simply get married and your income goes up by estimates are about 30% over your unmarried cohorts who do not get married. Controlling for all of the factors so males who earn who Mary earn more than those who remain single when you control for education time on the job hours worked per week and things like that.

So the act of marriage itself increases like my mail that's really interesting and before we get income into the details of the marriage wage premium.

Let's take a step back and look at the situation across America today, fewer Americans are getting married.

Currently than 30 to 40 years ago. The marriage rate today compared to say 1960 or 1970, and what are some of the reasons for this decline in the rate of individuals getting married Wellington in 1960, 70% of adults 18 and older married they were married in 1962, 2010 that fewer than 50% of married today be adult 18 or over, you look at even you might think we have a delayed marriage and we have that people are not getting married soon as I did before 22.6 years old in 1960 and now it's about 27.8 for males 26.2 for females from that range and so their delaying marriage. However when you look at even people age 45 or over who have never married in 1960 men over the age of 45 6% remain unmarried today.

That's about 10% for women in 19 65 1/2% over the age of 45 were never married. Today that's about 8% in the things that are causing that fertile females have more employment opportunities in 1960 had Deborah on the working factory today, many, many want to get a map, degrees, computer degrees, never able to compete in the workplace, but you also had a somewhat reduce the stigma of cohabitation and out of wedlock births in 1960 that was a statement to have a child out of wedlock.

So that became the impetus for delaying marriage and once you delayed it many more details and not.

All we shall in the article the delay in marriage has had a different impact on women than all men. First, what impact has the delaying marriage had on women and is this different for women with college degrees well with women. It is very difficult to raise a child on your own. The bigger cost for women is that you cohabit with somebody have a child in the mail leaves and that you try to take care of a child and try to work and work and that's not something that can happen.

It's heavily skewed towards lesser educated women in 2007, 8.1% of mothers with a college degree were unwed, whereas a 65.2% for one which is a high school diploma in a culturally significant knowledge from mother before the child. There are many social problems of the child.

Increased drug use, incarceration, drinking, dropping out of school. These have been huge effects for those who are delaying marriage but again it's really heavily skewed towards the lesser educated summer actually calling this. It's almost a discrimination against those without a college degree but is not your secure discriminating yourself selecting into cohabiting having children out of wedlock about the impact on the marriage wage premium different for men than for women, while men tend you first you have one person tends to be the primary breadwinner and most families and intensely the men accept increased quite a bit over the years. Now both family. Our parents are in, but men who Mary tend to go out and bear the primary breadwinner of the family so they can focus on just working and not having to worry about take care of the kids. But that's not what the premium really comes from what they find is that premium just the act of marriage causes a male to be more productive and many studies have been done to look at what isolate what the cause was to save. It's really a causal relationship of marriage and the income earnings and the study showed that the act of marriage causes men to be more productive. Your productivity increases their lifetime earnings and therefore adding marriage is a simple way to increase your electronics.

Now do you believe marriage results in these benefits or that there's a certain type of man who was more inclined to get married, and that that type of man is more likely to also have the types of characteristics that would correlate to our financial benefit. That's the big question that had to be solved and a look at two studies I talk about in this piece. The first one is by entering into botany to federal reserve banks, economists, and what they wanted to do what they did was they figured that if you plan America clearly and that type who you are to get married anyway more productive.

Men tend to get married when you have a wedding that was planned and if you are not that type you have a wedding that was unplanned what they wanted to find out. Maybe there some marriages that easily men who you are.

Very productive.

They were married anyway, but it's a shotgun wedding you get your girlfriend pregnant and I have to get married quickly. That's what they did is they looked at men who got married, based on the age of birth of the first child was in six months of the marriage included a shotgun wedding and found that the, the act of marriage those people who got married with her child. Children six months before tended to have the same increase in their income, so those people who tend to be a little more reckless still had the same income increases those horrible more planned. I think the better. One of the more credible study was done by Novick in town and what they did is a look at twin studies. They took a number.

I got a whole bunch of twins and looked at their age at first birth and the marriage and what they did as a isolated 31 pairs of twins who were met.

One was married and one was not married really going to say that it has to do with the person will twins tend to have the same genetic pool that can be very productive likely productive together, but the one who Mary had a higher income than the one who did not marry, so they will isolated that affect your talking about that again. I was always a question. Is it just the more productive males tend to get married. Other more marriageable women go after them, or whether other characteristics and they do find that when you control for the twin studies.

It was the act of marriage because the increase in it's interesting to note that there is enough recognition of this benefit out there that there are folks who are really trying to dig into it and in doing extensive studies of this sort to control for various factors and then gain a better understanding a troubling trend that is contributing to the delay in marriage for many young people today is an increase in cohabitation or living together outside of marriage house cohabitation compared to marriage in terms of the financial benefits for both women and men. Cohabitation doesn't do it. You would think that the cohabiting couple would have the same effect as a married couple, but that really is the case, and when you look at cohabiting couples who are college-educated, they tend to get married within five years of living together. Those without college degrees specialist at a high school degree tend not to.

The costs are really the uncertainty I married I have a child but marriage binds us to each other.

That's a really important point about socialist positions of marriages it binds us to each other for emotional support support, financial support, physical, mental, support cohabiting couples don't get that same experiences will really have little effect in terms of the premium. The bigger things is what you have children out of wedlock and then it's a single mother because her husband left. Those are much much bigger problems and you have children who have alcohol problems, they're more likely to live with somebody gets me pregnant and exit drug use dropping out of high school, young people today are strongly encouraged to finish school and go to college, at least for a few years in order to be competitive in the job market and have the best opportunity to achieve financial success. Do you believe in light of the research that you have done in the information that you have seen that we should also be educating young people about the marriage wage premium and encouraging them to consider the myriad of benefits of entering into a committed stable marriage relationship much like we do, and encouraging them to attain higher levels of formal education. Yes, without a doubt a lot of people to the 40% of the population in a poll thought that marriage was obsolete and outdated. I think that there are not studies coming out now people, both the right and left her criticizing this idea cohabiting now that understanding the benefits of marriage and it is the foundation of our civil society is one of the great institutions of civil society. If you look at the results again married men live longer married couple actually live longer. One study done by cancer research Institute shows that when a male was diagnosed with cancer. Married, he had much greater survival rates than those who were single and we should be promoting this idea of marriage, not just something you have to do is pay a dime of it says right now it's viewed as a It's Something I Do after I Get My Career, Job, House and Things like That and She Argued It Should Be a Cornerstone Is Foundation of Our Civil Society in Her Life. I Do Think That Not Only for the Economic Reasons, but Also the Health Reasons. People Are More Satisfied There Happier Than Single People. This Should Be a Big Push in Our Society to Encourage Marriage Will If You Are Speaking to a Group of Young Students Today and You Had an Opportunity to Briefly Present This Message to Them How Much You Want to Communicate the Benefits of Marriage to Them Not Only from the Standpoint of the Marriage Wage Premium but Also the Information That You Share and How We Talk about the Marriage Wage Premium of People You Talk about the Pocketbooks Are to Be Quickly Interested but I Also Think the Happiness Part of Think about. I Will Say One of the Things That Happened That Encourages More Cohabiting and the Boarding of the Divorce Rate Increase Significantly throughout the 70s and Then Tapered off in the 80s and You Have a Generation of Kids Who Grew up in a Divorce Family and They Didn't See Marriage As Something That Would Be Satisfying in Someone's There to Protect Me. They Thought As Strife and A Lot Of Tension and They Became More Reluctant to Get Married and I Think We've Got to Deal with Another Generation of Kids to Let Them Understand That It Really Is Important in Terms of Your Your Happiness Again Helps the Emotional Support You Receive Unit You Have That Ability to Do That with Just the Act of Marrying. I Also Think the No-Fault Divorce Has Been Largely Detrimental to Promoting This. I Would like to Go Back a Bit to Weed and Have a No-Fault Divorce, You Actually Had to Have a Legitimate Cost to Get Divorced and That Was the Reason for That Is That Creases Increases the Long-Term Stability of the Marriage Because Now I Don't Go and with One Should Be a 1 Foot out the Door. 1 Foot in the Door I Noncommitted and I Think That's One Thing That We Could Encourages Kids with This Commitment Is an Official Peer Long-Run Well-Being but Luckily Agree with You More about That Doctors Technically Are Out Of Town for This Week and I Want to Share with Our Listeners How They Can Get a Copy of Your Article Because It Is so Important and Think Will Be of Such Interest to A Lot Of Folks Who Are Listening to the Program Again.

The Article Is the Marriage Wage Premium and They Can Visit the North Carolina Family Policy Council Website at again that's in C and click on the latest issue of our magazine family North Carolina and I will direct them to the webpage where they can get a copy of that article Dr. Mark Strickler. Thanks so much for being with us on family policy matters and for your excellent article on the financial benefits of marriage like you're having before we close our like to invite you to follow the North Carolina family policy Council on Facebook. Just login and find Be sure to like us when you visit. In addition, for instant updates on profamily interest. Follow us on Twitter success in C family of origin at in C, family, family policy matters.

Information and analysis, future North Carolina family policy Council join us weekly discussion on policy issues affecting the family. If you have questions or comments. 91 907-0800 visit our website and see

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime