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Marriage & Money: Economics Speaker Marina Adshade Talks Wage Penalties<em></em>
Economics | May 24, 2013

Marriage & Money: Economics Speaker Marina Adshade Talks Wage Penalties

As economics speaker Marina Adshade discusses on Lou Dobbs Tonight, market forces can be a significant factor in determining what happens in our love lives. Drawing from research found in her conversation-generating new book, Dollars and Sex, the professor says that teenage promiscuity is on a sharp decline. In fact, there has been a noted 25 per cent decrease in teenage births as of late. Adshade, who takes an economics-driven approach to sex and dating, says that future financial standing and job prospects are a driving force behind the increased cautiousness with pre-marital sex among teens. "I think that students realize that in the current economy it's so important to stay in school, it's so important to go on to college and have a little bit more education after high school," Adshade says in the interview, "they see what's been going on the last five years and they know what the risks are...and I think that students respond to that by being a little bit more cautious."

As she explains in the interview, taking an economics-based approach allows her to make connections between the market and our relationships that may sometimes go overlooked. In her research, Adshade found that married women who take on their husband's last name tend to make lower wages than women with their own last name. "There's actually a wage penalty that goes with taking your husband's name, even after you control for things like education and how committed people are to the workforce and how many children they have," she says. When employers see that a woman has taken her husband's name, it suggests they are going to be starting a family eventually and may not be as committed to work. That's why those who still have their maiden names tend to be rewarded with a higher salary, as the employer believes that they will stay in the workforce longer.
 
In her book and her widely popular talks, Adshade shows audiences how economics can help explain the motivations behind our romantic relationships. And, more importantly, she makes it fun. She currently teaches at the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia and is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail and Canadian Business Magazine. With a signature blend of colourful storytelling, empirical evidence and hard data, Adshade answers our most burning questions about love, sex, and relationships—as well as some we have never even thought to ask.
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