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Marriage Market Equilibrium, Qualifications, and Ability

Author

Listed:
  • Dan Anderberg

    (Royal Holloway, Institute for Fiscal Studies, and CESifo)

  • Jesper Bagger

    () (Royal Holloway and the Dale T. Mortensen Centre, Aarhus University)

  • V. Bhaskar

    (University of Texas at Austin and CEPR)

  • Tanya Wilson

    (University of Glasgow and IZA)

Abstract

We study marital sorting on academic qualifications and latent ability in an equilibrium marriage market model using the 1972 UK Raising of the School-Leaving Age (RoSLA) legislation as a natural experiment that induced a sudden, large shift in the distribution of academic qualifications in affected cohorts, but plausibly had no impact on the distribution of ability. We show that a Choo and Siow (2006) model with sorting on cohort, qualifications, and latent ability is identified and estimable using the RoSLA-induced population shifts. We find that the RoSLA isolated low ability individuals in the marriage market, and affected marital outcomes of individuals whose qualification attainment were unaffected. We also decompose the difference in marriage probabilities between unqualified individuals and those with basic qualifications into causal effects stemming from ability and qualification differences. Differences in marriage probabilities are almost entirely driven by ability

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Anderberg & Jesper Bagger & V. Bhaskar & Tanya Wilson, 2019. "Marriage Market Equilibrium, Qualifications, and Ability," Economics Working Papers 2019-03, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2019-03
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/afn/wp/19/wp19_03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2013. "The Effect of Education on Adult Mortality and Health: Evidence from Britain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2087-2120, October.
    2. Michal Kolesár & Christoph Rothe, 2018. "Inference in Regression Discontinuity Designs with a Discrete Running Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(8), pages 2277-2304, August.
    3. Peter Arcidiacono & Andrew Beauchamp & Marjorie McElroy, 2016. "Terms of endearment: An equilibrium model of sex and matching," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(1), pages 117-156, March.
    4. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
    5. Pierre-André Chiappori & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir, 2018. "The Marriage Market, Labor Supply, and Education Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(S1), pages 26-72.
    6. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Maeder, Miriam, 2013. "The effect of education on fertility: Evidence from a compulsory schooling reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 35-48.
    7. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    8. Dickson, Matt & Smith, Sarah, 2011. "What determines the return to education: An extra year or a hurdle cleared?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1167-1176.
    9. Michael Geruso & Heather Royer, 2018. "The Impact of Education on Family Formation: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the UK," NBER Working Papers 24332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Dan Anderberg & Yu Zhu, 2014. "What a difference a term makes: the effect of educational attainment on marital outcomes in the UK," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 387-419, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage; Qualifications; Assortative mating; Latent ability;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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