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

  • Jeanne Lafortune

I explore how a gender's scarcity may impact educational investments using exogenous variation in the marriage market of second generation Americans in early twentieth century. I find that worse marriage market conditions spur higher pre-marital investments: the effect for males is significant, 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 highly educated spouses, while women are less likely to work and, for those in high endogamous groups, marry more immigrants. (JEL C78, D83, J12, J16, N31)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 151-78

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:151-78
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.5.2.151
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  17. 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.
  18. Pierre-André Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2009. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1689-1713, December.
  19. 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.
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