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Marriage and Career: The Dynamic Decisions of Young Men

  • Eric D. Gould

This paper examines the extent to which human capital and career decisions are affected by their potential returns in the marriage market. Although schooling and career decisions often are made before getting married, these decisions are likely to affect the future chances of receiving a marriage offer, the type of offer, and the probability of getting divorced. Therefore, I estimate a forward†looking model of the marriage and career decisions of young men between the ages of 16 and 39. The results show that if there were no returns to career choices in the marriage market, men would tend to work less, study less, and choose blue†collar jobs over white†collar jobs. These findings suggest that the existing literature underestimates the true returns to human capital investments by ignoring their returns in the marriage market.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/597668
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Human Capital.

Volume (Year): 2 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 337-378

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:v:2:i:4:y:2008:p:337-378
DOI: 10.1086/597668
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JHC/

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  1. Gould, Eric D & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2002. "Waiting for Mr Right: Rising Inequality and Declining Marriage Rates," CEPR Discussion Papers 3388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Richard Bellman, 1957. "On a Dynamic Programming Approach to the Caterer Problem--I," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(3), pages 270-278, April.
  3. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "The solution and estimation of discrete choice dynamic programming models by simulation and interpolation: Monte Carlo evidence," Staff Report 181, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," Research Papers 1819, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  5. Hotz, J.V. & Miller, R.A. & Sanders, S. & Smith, J., 1992. "A Simulation Estimator for Dynamic Models of Discrete Choice," GSIA Working Papers 1992-13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. Christopher R. Taber, 2001. "The Rising College Premium in the Eighties: Return to College or Return to Unobserved Ability?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 665-691.
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