The authors use data from the earlier and later cohorts of the NLSY to estimate the effect of marriage and childbearing on wages. Estimates imply that marriage lowers female wages 2-4 percent in the year of marriage. Marriage also lowers the wage growth of men and women by about two and four percentage points, respectively. A first birth lowers female wages 2-3 percent, but has no effect on wage growth. Male wages are unaffected by childbearing. Findings suggest that early marriage and childbearing can lead to substantial decreases in lifetime earnings.
Jan 1, 2007