Better Husbands or Better Jobs: The Dynamics of Womenâ€™s College Attendance Decisions
I develop and structurally estimate a sequential model of school attendance, employment and marital choices of young women to investigate the determinants of womenâ€™s college attendance decisions. The environment that individuals in this model face is rich. Investments in schooling and experience can affect the probability of receiving a marriage offer and the quality of the offer. Also, marital status can affect outcomes at school and in the labor market. Forward-looking agents thus take all these perspectives into account when they decide whether to attend college. To disentangle this simultaneous decision-making process, an explicit marriage valuation rule is embedded in the dynamic model of joint education, employment and marital decisions. I use the panel data for young women between the ages of 16 and 34 from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youths to estimate the model. The results suggest that both the marriage offer probability and the potential husbandâ€™s quality have positive and significant effects on womenâ€™s college attendance. The model is then used to estimate both the direct returns to education or the â€œincome enhance effectâ€ and the indirect returns to education or the â€œmarriage market effectâ€.
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|Date of creation:||11 Aug 2004|
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