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Better Husbands or Better Jobs: The Dynamics of Women’s College Attendance Decisions

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  • Suqin Ge
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    Abstract

    I develop and structurally estimate a sequential model of school attendance, employment and marital choices of young women to investigate the determinants of women’s college attendance decisions. The environment that individuals in this model face is rich. Investments in schooling and experience can affect the probability of receiving a marriage offer and the quality of the offer. Also, marital status can affect outcomes at school and in the labor market. Forward-looking agents thus take all these perspectives into account when they decide whether to attend college. To disentangle this simultaneous decision-making process, an explicit marriage valuation rule is embedded in the dynamic model of joint education, employment and marital decisions. I use the panel data for young women between the ages of 16 and 34 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youths to estimate the model. The results suggest that both the marriage offer probability and the potential husband’s quality have positive and significant effects on women’s college attendance. The model is then used to estimate both the direct returns to education or the “income enhance effect†and the indirect returns to education or the “marriage market effectâ€.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings with number 437.

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    Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:437

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    Keywords: returns to education; the labor market; the marriage market;

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