Income Differentials by Marital Status

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A Search for Marital Wage Premium in the Kenyan Labor Market

It has been shown in some studies that married people earn higher incomes than single people, taking other factors into consideration and explicitly dealing with the possibility of reverse causation.

But while the marriage premium is verified in different studies for men, the result for women is not conclusive.

Still, in spite of the widespread agreement that cross-sectional marriage differentials for men are sizable, there is much less agreement about their source.

It was the primary intent of this paper to undertake an empirical examination of the relationship between marital status and labor market outcomes in Kenya, thereby, also filling the contextual void occasioned by the apparent neglect of Least Developed Countries, such as Kenya, in this important field’s research agenda.

Using data from a 1998/1999 Kenya Labour Force Survey (KLFS), we apply a standard Mincerian earnings’ equation and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimation to test for evidence of marital earnings’ premium at the cross-section.

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