The Marriage Premium

Significant data and market research shows that married men make more money on average than never married men. Although clear correlations have not been unanimous, some hypothesis attribute the marriage premium to increased productivity, role specialization, and greater happiness. I understand this is a complex issue, but econometrics has not identified any clear answers. I believe in a different variable – marriage teaches the generally more self centric men skills and knowledge to be more socially flexible.Today, at work, we had a team building workshop whereby we discussed the Enneagram, a 9-dimensional personality and motivation assessment similar to the Meyers-Briggs. The facilitator emphasized the value of the Enneagram for understanding work preferences and using this knowledge to improve work relations and reduce conflicts.

The workshop also introduced the concept of the “Platinum Rule”. Much like the “Golden Rule”, treat others as you would like to be treated, the “Platinum Rule” recommends treating others as they would like to be treated. Conceptually, empathy and adaptability seem to be advantageous business (and general life) skills and would be a plausible candidate for the marriage premium.

A few anecdotal examples:

Imagine a Sales person who can rapidly understand more than just a clients’ technical and business needs; he would achieve greater sales. Perhaps a manager has a very detailed orientated task, he might assign it to the Enneagram type One which is better suited to do a superior job, which ultimately elevates the manager’s results and effectiveness.

Perhaps economists and personality psychologist can combine and statistically analyze data sets, matching Enneagram (or other personality models) types to wages and marital status. I have yet to discover any such meta analysis, but it would be interesting.



~ by fp on January 26, 2013.

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