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From Classroom to Wedding Aisle: The Effect of a Nationwide Change in the Compulsory Schooling Law on Age at First Marriage in the UK

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  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh

    ()
    (London School of Economics)

  • Adireksombat, Kampon

    ()
    (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

Abstract

Does more schooling causes a delay in marriage? Using a nationwide change in the compulsory schooling law in the UK as a source of exogenous variation in education, this paper estimates the causal effect of schooling on age at first marriage. The 1947 reform, which uniquely affected about a half of the relevant population, led to a jump in the average age at first marriage for both genders, with the effect being much more statistically robust for men than women. The regression discontinuity and IV estimates imply that completing an extra year of schooling increases the average age at first marriage by approximately 3 years for men and almost 2 years for women. Given the compelling effect of the 1947 reform, it is likely that our reduced form estimates come close to mirroring the ATE for the general population.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5019.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5019

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Related research

Keywords: compulsory schooling; age at first marriage; regression discontinuity; human capital; family formation;

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  1. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
  2. Paul J. Devereux & Gautam Tripathi, 2005. "Optimally Combining Censored and Uncensored Datasets," Working papers 2005-10, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2007.
  3. N Powdthavee, 2008. "I Can’t Smile Without You: Spousal Correlation in Life Satisfaction," Discussion Papers 08/16, Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2010. "Does Education Reduce the Risk of Hypertension? Estimating the Biomarker Effect of Compulsory Schooling in England," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 173-202.
  5. repec:nbr:nberwo:15725 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1995. "Are OLS Estimates of the Return to Schooling Biased Downward? Another Look," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 217-30, May.
  7. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew, 2004. "How is mortality affected by money, marriage, and stress?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1181-1207, November.
  8. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
  9. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-86, December.
  10. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2009. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Working Papers 200940, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  12. Hendrik Jürges & Eberhard Kruk & Steffen Reinhold, 2010. "The Effect of Compulsory Schooling on Health - Evidence from Biomarkers," CESifo Working Paper Series 3105, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Scott Adams, 2002. "Educational Attainment and Health: Evidence from a Sample of Older Adults," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 97-109.
  14. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  15. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kirdar, Murat G. & Dayıoğlu, Meltem & Koç, İsmet, 2009. "The Impact of Schooling on the Timing of Marriage and Fertility: Evidence from a Change in Compulsory Schooling Law," MPRA Paper 13410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Silles, Mary A., 2009. "The causal effect of education on health: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 122-128, February.
  18. Vegard Skirbekk & Hans-Peter Kohler & Alexia Prskawetz, 2004. "Birth month, school graduation, and the timing of births and marriages," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 547-568, August.
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