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Category Archives: J22

The Effect of Marriage on the Wages of Americans: Gender and Generational Differences

By William Song and Theresa Tong

A substantial body of literature on the wage effects of marriage finds that married American men earn anywhere from 10% to 40% higher wages than unmarried men on average, while married American women earn up to 7% less than unmarried women, even after controlling for traits such as background, education, and number of children. Because this literature focuses heavily on men born in a single time period, we study both men and women in two different generational cohorts of Americans (Baby Boomers and Millennials) from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth to examine how the wage effects of marriage differ between genders and across time. Using a fixed effects approach, we find that Millennial women—but not Baby Boomer women—experience an increase in wages after marriage, and we replicate the finding from the literature that men experience an increase in wages after marriage as well. However, after controlling for wage trajectory-based selection into marriage by using a modified fixed effects approach that allows wage trajectories to vary by individual, we find that the wage effects of marriage are no longer statistically significant for any group in our data, suggesting that the wage differences between married and unmarried individuals found in previous studies are primarily a result of selection.

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Advisors: Professor Marjorie McElroy, Professor Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: C33; D13; J12; J13; J22; J30

Family Leave and Child Care Policy Across States: Implications for Labor Force Participation Over Time

By Kelly Albert

This paper investigates the impact of child care subsidies, maternity and paternity leave policy, and Earned Income Tax Credits on labor force participation rates at the state level, utilizing data sets from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Current Population Survey. Results suggest labor force participation increased with federal maternity and paternity leave, increased child care subsidy expenditures, and Earned Income Tax Credits. Head Start expenditures, state maternity leave, and Temporary Disability Insurance have negative impacts. These findings have wider policy implications; altering combinations of family leave and child care policy could help improve employment outcomes of parents.

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Advisors: Dr. Hugh Macartney, and Dr. Grace Kim | JEL Codes: J13, J18, J22

The Effects of Parental Division of Employment on Child Outcomes During Adulthood

By Meredith Parenti 

This paper offers an empirical analysis of the effects of division of employment between parent figures on future outcomes of children. Using propensity score matching, this study extends upon previous research to offer an understanding of the joint role played by maternal employment and that of a present or non-present husband. Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Young Adults and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 are used to create and examine a comprehensive set of respondents’ backgrounds and labor outcomes. Relative to children from two parent homes with only working fathers, children from two parent homes with part-time working mothers and non-working fathers appear to have less positive labor outcomes. Conversely, children with full-time working mothers without spouses in the home have more positive labor outcomes. These findings demonstrate the mediation of each parent figure on the role of the other in determining outcomes and suggest maternal work is beneficial to children, or plays no significant role, unless a mother has to support not only her children, but also her husband through her employment.

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Advisors: V. Joseph Hotz and Michelle Connolly | JEL Codes: J01, J12, J22

Gender Equality as a Result of Offering Employee Benefit Policies

By Meghan Mcaneny

In this study, I investigate the relationship between the percentage of women in leadership in a company and its employee benefits. This papeuses data on individual firms’ benefits such as paid parental leave, familial support, and flexibility arrangements. Using OLS, I conclude that benefits that shift familial burdens from women to men, specifically paid paternity leave, result in more women in leadershipThis creates an even playing field for women to be promoted as the company environment does not penalize women for using benefits. I also find a negative relationship between reimbursement for fertility procedures and women in leadership.

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Advisor: Alison Hagy, Marjorie McElroy | JEL Codes: J22, J32, M51, M52 | Tagged: Employee Benefits, Women in Business Leadership, Work-Life Balance

How Do Different Parental Beliefs and Parenting behaviors Affect Students’ College Academic Performance?

By Zifan Lin

I examine the differences between Asian Americans and Caucasian Americans with respect to parental beliefs, parenting behaviors, and college academic achievement. The results suggest that 1) there is a strong causal effect of study time on college performance, 2) parental strictness and emphasis on education distinguish Asian American students from Caucasian American students in their choice of a major, study effort, and self-motivation, all of which determine college GPA, and 3) an expanded list of parental control measures and self-motivation measures should be introduced in future research to effectively explain the ethnicity effect on study effort and college academic outcomes.

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Advisor: Peter Arcidiacon | JEL Codes: I2, J10, J15, J22 | Tagged: Academic Achievement, Asian, Education Economics, Instrumental Variables Regressions, Study Time

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