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Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-Marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market

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  • Jeanne Lafortune

Abstract

This paper explores how a rise in a gender’s scarcity may impact educational investments using exogenous variation in the marriage market of second generation Americans in early 20th century. Theoretically, one may expect this to occur through two potential channels: a change in matching possibilities or in post-match bargaining. Empirically, I find that worse marriage market conditions spurs higher pre-marital investments: the effect for males is significant (0.2 years of education for one standard deviation in the sex ratio) while for females, it is only observed in highly endogamous groups. When faced with an exogenously larger number of males per females, males’ marriages appear to be less stable and more likely to involve natives and more educated spouses while women are less likely to work and, for those in high endogamous groups, marry more immigrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 422.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:422

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Keywords: Pre-marital investments; Sex ratios; Marriage market;

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References

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  1. Delia Furtado, 2006. "Human Capital and Interethnic Marriage Decisions," Working papers 2006-03, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 2001. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation and Household Labor Supply," Cahiers de recherche 0103, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  3. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2011. "Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 69-113, 01.
  4. Delia Furtado & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2011. "Interethnic marriage: a choice between ethnic and educational similarities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1257-1279, October.
  5. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Iyigun, Murat & Weiss, Yoram, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-57, July.
  7. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage And Labor Markets? Evidence From America'S Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038, August.
  8. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  9. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Shoshana Grossbard, 2007. "Cohort-level sex ratio effects on women’s labor force participation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 249-278, September.
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  19. Murat Nick & P. Randall Walsh, 2007. "Building the Family Nest: Premarital Investments, Marriage Markets, and Spousal Allocations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 507-535.
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  25. Michael Kvasnicka & Dirk Bethmann, 2007. "World War II, Missing Men, and Out-of-wedlock Childbearing," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2007-053, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Timothy Halliday & Sumner La Croix, 2013. "Sons, Daughters, and Labor Supply in Early Twentieth-Century Hawaii," Working Papers 201318, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  2. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2008. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," Discussion Papers 07-050, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  3. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Determinants of college major choice: identification using an information experiment," Staff Reports 500, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Stephen C. Smith & M. Shahe Emran & Fenohasina Maret, 2009. "Education and Freedom of Choice: Evidence from Arranged Marriages in Vietnam," Working Papers 2009-15, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  5. Strauss, Jack, 2013. "The Economic Gains to Colorado of Amendment 66," MPRA Paper 49928, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Jeanne Lafortune & José Tessada, 2012. "Smooth(er) Landing? The Dynamic Role of Networks in the Location and Occupational Choice of Immigrants," Working Papers ClioLab 14, EH Clio Lab. Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
  7. Judith K. Hellerstein & Melissa P. McInerney & David Neumark, 2010. "Spatial Mismatch, Immigrant Networks, And Hispanic Employment In The United States," Working Papers 100, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  8. Brishti Guha, 2012. "Divorce Laws, Sex Ratios and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 19-2012, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  9. Shannon Seitz & Aloysius Siow & Eugene Choo, 2009. "Marriage matching, risk sharing and spousal labor supplies," 2009 Meeting Papers 16, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-84, Winter.
  11. Bruze, Gustaf, 2010. "Male and Female Marriage Returns to Schooling," Working Papers 10-17, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  12. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Lee, Soohyung, 2012. "Brides for Sale: Cross-Border Marriages and Female Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 6458, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Stopnitzky, Yaniv, 2012. "The Bargaining Power of Missing Women: Evidence from a Sanitation Campaign in India," MPRA Paper 37841, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Weiss, Yoram & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen, 2013. "Hypergamy, Cross-Boundary Marriages, and Family Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 7293, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Jeanne Lafortune & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2012. "Changing the Rules Midway: The Impact of Granting Alimony Rights on Existing and Newly-Formed Partnerships," Documentos de Trabajo 424, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  16. Katja Maria Kaufmann & Matthias Messner & Alex Solis, 2013. "Returns to Elite Higher Education in the Marriage Market: Evidence from Chile," Working Papers 489, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.

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