Married Men Earn More if Wives Do the Housework

Married men earn more if wives do the chores? (Reuters)

Married men earn more than bachelors so long as their wives stay at home doing the housework, according to a report Wednesday from Britain’s Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER). Academics Elena Bardasi and Mark Taylor found that a married man whose wife does not go out to work but is primarily responsible for the cooking and cleaning earns about 3 percent more than comparably employed single men. But that wage premium disappears if wives go out to work themselves or don’t do most of the housework.

“It has been fairly well documented that married men earn more than single men,” Taylor, a labor economist, told Reuters. “However, our research established the wage premium is related to the wife doing the chores,” said the academic who teaches at the University of Essex in eastern England.

This stands to reason, really. If someone is able to come home and relax, they’re going to have more energy to devote to work. Presumably, the same results for obtain for women with stay-at-home husbands, although the sample would be much smaller.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    Or, men who make more can afford to have their women stay home and do the chores?

    This seems like a great case of correlation but not causation.

  2. Anderson says:

    What Bryan said. Do people get *paid* for such poor logic? Sheesh.

  3. ICallMasICM says:

    As if they would actually do the chores.