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Education choices and returns on the labor and marriage markets: Evidence from data on subjective expectations

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  • Attanasio, Orazio P.
  • Kaufmann, Katja M.

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the role of expected labor and marriage market returns as determinants of the college enrollment decisions of Mexican high school graduates. Moreover, we investigate whether the (relative) weights of these factors differ by gender. We use data on individuals’ expectations regarding future labor market outcomes which we directly elicited from the youths, and two different measures of marriage market returns. First, marriage market returns are proxied by the (net-)supply of potential partners in the youths’ local marriage markets. Second, we use data which elicits youths’ beliefs about their future spouse's earnings conditional on their own education level. We find that labor market as well as marriage market returns are important determinants of the college enrollment decision. However, boys’ and girls’ preferences differ in terms of the relative role of the two determinants, in that the relative weight of labor market versus marriage market returns is larger for boys than for girls.

Suggested Citation

  • Attanasio, Orazio P. & Kaufmann, Katja M., 2017. "Education choices and returns on the labor and marriage markets: Evidence from data on subjective expectations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 35-55.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:35-55
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.05.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Bleemer, Zachary & Zafar, Basit, 2018. "Intended college attendance: Evidence from an experiment on college returns and costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 184-211.
    2. Vaishali Zambre, 2018. "The Gender Gap in Wage Expectations: Do Young Women Trade off Higher Wages for Lower Wage Risk?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1742, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Teodora Boneva & Christopher Rauh, 2017. "Socio-Economic Gaps in University Enrollment: The Role of Perceived Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Returns," CESifo Working Paper Series 6756, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Schooling decisions; Subjective expectations; Perceived earnings and employment risk; Marriage market returns; Gender differences; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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