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Marriage, Money and Migration


  • Åström, Johanna

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)


The thesis consists of a summary and four self-contained papers. Paper [I] examines the effects of interregional migration on gross earnings in married and cohabiting couples. In particular, we examine the link between education level and income gains. We find that pre-migration education level is a key determinant of migration and economic outcomes and is also a determinant of the effect of migration on income distribution within the household. The positive average effect on household earnings is largely explained by income gains among highly-educated males. Females generally experience no significant income gain from migration in absolute terms. Paper [II] analyzes the effect of the spouse’s education on individual earnings. In this study, we control for time-invariant heterogeneity that may be correlated with the spouse’s education level and use a rich data set that includes observations of individuals when they are single and when they are married. The results support the hypothesis of cross-productivity for both males and females. Furthermore, couples with education within the same field experience even larger effects. In Paper [III] we aim to study how the spouse’s productivity in the labor market affects one’s own individual earnings when married. Using longitudinal data on individuals as both single and married allows us to estimate the spouses’ productivity as 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. Paper [IV] studies spousal matching on earnings for females in secondorder marriages. We aim to follow women who marry, divorce, and subsequently remarry compared with females who marry and stay married over the course of the study interval. Overall, we find significant positive correlations for all three of the marital partitions. The correlation tends to be smaller for the first of a sequence of marriages for women who divorce than for women who marry and stay so. For the second of the successive marriages, however, the correlation of the residuals is larger than that for women who marry but once.

Suggested Citation

  • Åström, Johanna, 2009. "Marriage, Money and Migration," Umeå Economic Studies 790, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0790

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
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    4. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    5. Satu Nivalainen, 2004. "Determinants of family migration: short moves vs. long moves," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 157-175, February.
    6. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-773, October.
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    8. Sandell, Steven H, 1977. "Women and the Economics of Family Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(4), pages 406-414, November.
    9. Roger Axelsson & Olle Westerlund, 1998. "A panel study of migration, self-selection and household real income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(1), pages 113-126.
    10. Jacobsen, Joyce P. & Levin, Laurence M., 2000. "The effects of internal migration on the relative economic status of women and men," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 291-304, May.
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    14. Satu Nivalainen, 2005. "Interregional migration and post-move employment in two-earner families: Evidence from Finland," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(7), pages 891-907.
    15. Shelly Lundberg & Robert Pollak, 2003. "Efficiency in Marriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 153-167, September.
    16. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
    17. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
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    More about this item


    Regional migration; two earner households; marriage; education; human capital spillover; specialization; assortative mating; remarriage;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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