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Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-Marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market

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  • Jeanne Lafortune

Abstract

This paper explores how a rise in a gender's scarcity may impact educational investments using exogenous variation in the marriage market of second generation Americans in early 20th century. Theoretically, one may expect this to occur through two potential channels: a change in matching possibilities or in post-match bargaining. Empirically, I find that worse marriage market conditions spurs higher pre-marital investments: the effect for males is significant (0.2 years of education for one standard deviation in the sex ratio) while for females, it is only observed in highly endogamous groups. When faced with an exogenously larger number of males per females, males’ marriages appear to be less stable and more likely to involve natives and more educated spouses while women are less likely to work and, for those in high endogamous groups, marry more immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeanne Lafortune, 2012. "Making Yourself Attractive: Pre-Marital Investments and the Returns to Education in the Marriage Market," Documentos de Trabajo 422, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  • Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:422
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pre-marital investments; Sex ratios; Marriage market;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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