This study explores the relationship between occupation, gender and the so-called "marriage premium". Previous studies have observed an earnings bonus for married men that is not present for women. This work has considered how much of the premium is causally related to marriage and how much is related to selection effects. The prior literature has also established that returns to marriage vary significantly by education, race and family size. Compared to these variables, the role of occupation in altering marriage premium has rarely been considered.
We study the wage premium through an analysis of the the 2007-2009 American Community Survey. We extend Mincer’s wage premium framework to a study of the premium. The magnitude of the wage premium appears to vary by occupational class. We use OLS regressions to capture wage premiums for gender and occupational class groups.
This analysis suggests that the relationship between work type and the premium has been understudied. Occupational variation in the premium also allows us to reconsider traditional theories of its origin. While we find support for “specialization” and “discrimination” stories, our results are not consistent with the human capital-based mechanism.