Twice Chosen: Spouse Matching and Earnings Among Women in First and Second Marriages
This study examines spousal matching for females in second-order marriages. It is based on detailed data from longitudinal Swedish population data registers. 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. The earnings of both groups are modeled through regression analysis in the year prior to their marriages along with the earnings of each husband. The residuals from the regressions represent unobservables in the process of earnings generation. From the regressions we obtain spouse-to-be pairs of earnings residuals and we measure the correlation of residuals for each marital regime. 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. We also find evidence of “matching” between successive husbands. Women who marry men with unmeasured positive earnings capacities, in the event of divorce, tend to select and match in a similar fashion the second time around.
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