IdEP Seminar, Luisa Wallossek - "The Marriage Earnings Gap"

Institute of Economics

Date: 16 January 2024 / 12:30 - 13:30

Online in MS Teams

What happens to earnings upon marriage? Linking administrative and survey data from Germany, we show that there is a marriage earnings gap. Even after accounting for the child penalty, women’s earnings drop by 20% after marriage. We show that the marriage earnings gap results from both the extensive margin (women stop working) and the intensive margin (women work fewer hours), but not from a decrease in hourly wages. Labor supply disincentives from joint taxation can explain about one third of the marriage earnings gap, while we find no effect for labor supply incentives from changes in divorce law. In addition to tax incentives, we show that gender norms are an important mechanism behind the marriage earnings gap.

This paper is joint work with Elena Herold.

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