Positive Assortative Mating and Spouses as Complementary Factors of Production: A Theory of Labor Augmentation
This paper develops a model of intellectual labor augmentation to explain both the marriage wage premium and educational assortative mating. We suggest that husbands and wives are complementary factors of production where a spouse’s education and skills augment their partner’s productivity and earnings potential. We test this proposition using data from the 2000 U.S. Census of Population and the 2003 Current Population Survey. Our results indicate that for working couples the marriage premium for husbands and wives is directly related to the education level of their spouses -- suggesting that positive assortative mating may be attributable to the labor market effects of intellectual augmentation of married households.
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