Is the ‘Marriage Premium’ Fact or Fiction?


A new report concludes that for men, getting married can help increase your income, unless you're a low earner to begin with.

For men who are low earners, they tend to marry at a point in their lives where their income is rising; thus getting married does not improve their earnings potential. But for high earning men, their earnings rise after they get married, not before, according to new research.

Past research has suggested that getting married can help lift people out of poverty, which is also called or is known as a  “marriage premium.” However, this new research opposes the marriage premium idea citing that only wealthy men’s earnings benefit from getting married and that marriage would not be an effective poverty alleviation policy.

When describing possible reasons why marriage can have a positive impact on earnings, the report included reasons like the presence of positive female influences, happiness at home and ending discrimination by employers against unmarried men.