Saturday, November 12, 2011

The "Married Men" Wage Premium

For years, economists have explored the reasons why married men tend to earn more than single men, holding all else equal.  Now we have a fascinating new study that looks at this phenomenon in the context of major league baseball.  Exploring this issue in sports proves fruitful, because we can actually measure individual productivity more accurately using an array of statistics.  Scholars Francesca Cornaglia and Naomi Feldman recently found  that married baseball players also earn more than single players.  However, they found that the married players were NOT more productive than their single counterparts. What could explain the premium then?  Cornaglia and Feldman discovered two interesting nuggets in their research.  First, the married players tended to exhibit a bit more stable and consistent performance.  That consistency might be quite valuable.  Second, they found that having more married players on the team tended to be associated with higher attendance (and therefore, higher team revenue).  The results proved statistically significant.  What could be occurring?  The authors speculate that the married players and their wives might be engaging in a variety of activities that bolster the team's image, and therefore, increase the popularity of the club.  For more on this study, you might wish to listen to this interview with the authors on BBC radio.

1 comment:

james said...

Interesting post about married men having higher incomes than non married men. Does not suprise me at all. I would be willing to guess that a man with a better job and higher education would tend to have more confidence than a man with not so good a job. I also believe that the man with a better job and more education would be in better health than the man without a job or a low wage or unskilled job. I also would like to say not as a snub to those men with better jobs and better education. Many of the jobs their in contribute little or nothing to building an economy. Examples lawyers' accountants' marketing consultants' insurance actuaries' financial planners' Just to name a few theirs no multiplier effect here. What I mean by this is take 2000 employes in a very large office building theirs some computers some computer servers office furniture one heating and air condition system lots of software programs to determine risk factors and so forth' maybe some paper products. Now take the same number of retail store employees in 100 different stores all over the country' every time a store is constructed it creates jobs all over the place. Just think of the amount of stuff that must be bought everything from glass to plumbing and everything in between. Every building has a roof that needs taring from time to time' a heating and air condition system that needs maintenance. A parking lot that needs to be dug out every ten or fifteen years or so and tared every year. All the stores need remodeling every 7 to 10 years shelving needs replacing trailers that haul goods wear out and must be replaced. Trucks that deliver goods need regular maintenance. Signage needs to be updated all over the store regularly. Shopping carts need replacing. Most of the stuff excluding the goods on the shelves is made in the united states. In other words the employees in the office building have 100 square feet per person. The retail store employees have 1000 square feet per employee. In other words the multiplier effect is at least ten times what it is for the insurance company employees. All that an insurance company or a bank does is recycle money. I am not basing all of this on square footage. I could go on and on. The fact of the matter is unfortunately for many of your highly educated men with good jobs these jobs contibute little if anything at all to economic growth and in some cases an example lawyers take away from economic growth.