Married men earn nearly one third more than single males because they work harder, new research reveals. Tying the knot means men get paid seven per cent more than unmarried men even if differences in age, education and experience are taken into account. They also earn four per cent more than men who live with their partners, according to a 12,000-strong survey. Experts say the pay gap could be because men develop a stronger work ethic after they marry.
‘Results indicate that a lower level of pay satisfaction induces married men to put more effort into their work, which leads to higher wages,’ said academics at the University of Bielefeld in Germany. They analysed data from 12,245 interviewees on a wide range of subjects including household composition, employment status, working hours, income and time spent on household tasks. Overall, wages for married men were around a third higher, while co-habiting men earned 15 to 20 per cent more than single men.
Differences between single and married men were taken into account. For example married men are likely to be older and better educated. Researchers also found that married men are less satisfied with their income and so are more likely to feel underpaid than single men. One theory suggests that it is dissatisfaction which drives men to work harder and earn more – triggered by changes in attitudes that occur after marriage. Researchers said: ‘Lifestyle changes related to marriage may give rise to the purchase of a home and its furnishings, entailing increased household expenditures, and so on.’