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The Effects of Assortative Mating on Earnings: Human Capital Spillover or Specialization?

  • Åström, Johanna

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

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    This paper studies how the spouse’s productivity in the labor market affects one’s individual earnings when married. Theoretically, the high productivity of a spouse in a marriage could affect the other spouse’s earnings in two ways: negatively through specialization and division of labor, or positively from human capital spillover. Using longitudinal microdata on individuals as both single and married people allows us to estimate the spouses’ productivity as a single persons and thereby avoid problems of endogeneity between the two spouses’ labor market performances. Productivity is approximated with residuals from estimates of pre-marriage earnings equations. Results indicate that there are negative effects of the spouse’s productivity on individual earnings for both males and females, and that this effect appears to be enhanced by the duration of the marriage. However, closer examination shows that only the youngest groups of males and females experience this negative effect. In addition, there is some evidence for a positive effect of the husband’s productivity on earnings in the case of older groups of females.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.umu.se/DownloadAsset.action?contentId=96692&languageId=3&assetKey=ues789
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    Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 789.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: 27 Nov 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0789
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
    Phone: 090 - 786 61 42
    Fax: 090 - 77 23 02
    Web page: http://www.econ.umu.se/
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