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"Schooling Can't Buy Me Love": Marriage, Work, and the Gender Education Gap in Latin America

Listed author(s):
  • Ganguli, Ina

    (Harvard University)

  • Hausmann, Ricardo

    (Harvard University)

  • Viarengo, Martina

    (Harvard University)

In this paper we establish six stylized facts related to marriage and work in Latin America and present a simple model to account for them. First, skilled women are less likely to be married than unskilled women. Second, skilled women are less likely to be married than skilled men. Third, married skilled men are more likely to work than unmarried skilled men, but married skilled women are less likely to work than unmarried skilled women. Fourth, Latin American women are much more likely to marry a less skilled husband compared to women in other regions of the world. Five, when a skilled Latin American woman marries down, she is more likely to work than if she marries a more or equally educated man. Six, when a woman marries down, she tends to marry the "better" men in that these are men that earn higher wages than those explained by the other observable characteristics. We present a simple game theoretic model that explains these facts with a single assumption: Latin American men, but not women, assign a greater value to having a stay-home wife.

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File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=7358&type=WPN
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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp10-032.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp10-032
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  1. Annamaria Lusardi & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2008. "Planning and Financial Literacy: How Do Women Fare?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 413-417, May.
  2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 27-52, Spring.
  3. Kathleen Arano & Carl Parker & Rory Terry, 2010. "Gender-Based Risk Aversion And Retirement Asset Allocation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 147-155, 01.
  4. Betsey Stevenson, 2008. "Divorce Law and Women's Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 14346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
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