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The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import

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  • Nielsen, Helena Skyt

    () (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Nina

    () (Aarhus University)

  • Celikaksoy, Aycan

    () (SOFI, Stockholm University)

Abstract

We investigate the effect of immigrants’ marriage behavior on dropout from education. To identify the causal effect, we exploit a recent Danish policy reform which generated exogenous variation in marriage behavior by a complete abolishment of spouse import for immigrants below 24 years of age. We find that the abrupt change of marriage behavior following the reform is associated with improved educational attainment of young immigrants. The causal impact of marriage on dropout for males is estimated to be around 20 percentage points, whereas the effect for females is small and mostly insignificant. We interpret the results as being consistent with a scenario where family investment motives drive the behavior of males, while the association between marriage and dropout for females is driven by selection effects. The estimated causal effect varies considerably across subgroups.

Suggested Citation

  • Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Smith, Nina & Celikaksoy, Aycan, 2007. "The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import," IZA Discussion Papers 2899, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2899
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    Cited by:

    1. Aycan, Çelikaksoy & Lena, Nekby & Saman, Rashid, 2009. "Assortative Mating by Ethnic Background and Education in Sweden: The Role of Parental Composition on Partner Choice," SULCIS Working Papers 2009:7, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
    2. Delia Furtado & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2011. "Interethnic marriage: a choice between ethnic and educational similarities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1257-1279, October.
    3. Dang, Trang & Nguyen, Cuong, 2015. "Parents’ inter-ethnic marriage and children’s education and disability: Evidence from Vietnam," MPRA Paper 74144, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Daiji Kawaguchi & Soohyung Lee, 2017. "Brides For Sale: Cross-Border Marriages And Female Immigration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(2), pages 633-654, April.
    5. Nekby, Lena, 2010. "Same, Same but (Initially) Different? The Social Integration of Natives and Immigrants in Sweden," SULCIS Working Papers 2010:4, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
    6. Delia Furtado, 2007. "Cross-Nativity Marriages, Gender, and Human Capital Levels of Children," Working papers 2007-33, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    7. Furtado, Delia, 2009. "Cross-Nativity Marriages and Human Capital Levels of Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3931, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; family investment model; dropout; marriage migration; education; spouse import;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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