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Marriage and Career: The Dynamic Decisions of Young Men

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  • Eric D. Gould

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric D. Gould, 2008. "Marriage and Career: The Dynamic Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 337-378.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:v:2:i:4:y:2008:p:337-378
    DOI: 10.1086/597668
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. V. Joseph Hotz & Robert A. Miller & Seth Sanders & Jeffrey Smith, 1994. "A Simulation Estimator for Dynamic Models of Discrete Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(2), pages 265-289.
    2. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "The Solution and Estimation of Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Models by Simulation and Interpolation: Monte Carlo Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 648-672, November.
    3. Gould, Eric D. & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2003. "Waiting for Mr. Right: rising inequality and declining marriage rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 257-281, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Richard Bellman, 1957. "On a Dynamic Programming Approach to the Caterer Problem--I," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(3), pages 270-278, April.
    6. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kunze, Astrid, 2014. "Are All of the Good Men Fathers? The Effect of Having Children on Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8113, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Moshe Hazan, 2009. "Longevity and Lifetime Labor Supply: Evidence and Implications," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1829-1863, November.
    3. Yuet-Yee Wong, Linda & Yu, Qiqing, 2007. "A bivariate interval censorship model for partnership formation," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 370-383, February.
    4. Keane, Michael P. & Todd, Petra E. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 2011. "The Structural Estimation of Behavioral Models: Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Methods and Applications," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Raphaela Hyee, 2011. "Education in a Marriage Market Model without Commitment," Working Papers 683, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    6. Suqin Ge, 2011. "Women's College Decisions: How Much Does Marriage Matter?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(4), pages 773-818.
    7. Nandi, Alita, 2008. "Women's economic gains from employment, marriage and cohabitation," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Kunze, Astrid, 2016. "The effect of children on earnings inequality among men," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145823, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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