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Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market

Author

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  • Chiappori, Pierre-André

    () (Columbia University)

  • Iyigun, Murat

    () (University of Colorado, Boulder)

  • Weiss, Yoram

    () (Tel Aviv University)

Abstract

We present a model with pre-marital schooling investment, endogenous marital matching and spousal specialization in homework and market production. Investment in schooling raises ages and generates two kinds of returns in our framework: a labor-market return and a marriage-market return because education can affect the intra-marital share of the surplus one can extract from marriage. When the returns to education and household roles are gender neutral, men and women educate in equal proportions and there is pure positive assortative matching in the marriage market. But if men and women have different market returns or household roles, then there may be mixing in equilibrium where some educated individuals marry uneducated spouses and those who educate less extract a relatively larger share of the marital surplus. The existence of large and frictionless marriage markets creates competition among potential spouses, precludes bargaining and generates premarital investments that are efficient. Given that the gender wage gap narrows with the level of education, women’s labor-market return from schooling is higher than that of men. Moreover, women’s household time obligations have declined over time, raising their marriage-market return from schooling. Combining these two effects, we explain why women now attain higher schooling levels than men.

Suggested Citation

  • Chiappori, Pierre-André & Iyigun, Murat & Weiss, Yoram, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2454
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    intra-household allocations; matching; pre-marital investments;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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