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The Correlation Between Husband's and Wife's Education: Canada, 1971-1996


  • Lonnie Magee
  • John Burbidge
  • Les Robb


We present a measure of the correlation between the education levels of spouses based on a bivariate ordered probit model. The change in this correlation over time can be measured while controlling for the large changes in the educational attainment levels. The model is estimated with data from 20 Surveys of Consumer Finances in Canada over 1971-1996. Our main findings are a reduction in this correlation among younger couples beginning in the 1980s, and an inverted U- shaped effect of the spouses' age difference on the correlation, with the maximum correlation occurring approximately when the spouses' ages are equal.

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  • Lonnie Magee & John Burbidge & Les Robb, 2000. "The Correlation Between Husband's and Wife's Education: Canada, 1971-1996," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 353, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:qseprr:353

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angus S. Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1994. "Saving, Growth, and Aging in Taiwan," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in the Economics of Aging, pages 331-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. J.B. Burbidge & L. Magee & A.L. Robb, "undated". "Cohort, Year and Age Effects in Canadian Wage Data," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 13, McMaster University.
    3. Pencavel, John, 1998. "Assortative Mating by Schooling and the Work Behavior of Wives and Husbands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 326-329, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Neidhöfer & Joaquín Serrano & Leonardo Gasparini, 2017. "ducational inequality and intergenerational mobility in Latin America: A new database," Working Papers 443, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. William H. Greene & David A. Hensher, 2008. "Modeling Ordered Choices: A Primer and Recent Developments," Working Papers 08-26, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    3. William Greene, 2007. "Discrete Choice Modeling," Working Papers 07-6, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    correlation; education level; bivariate ordered probit model; SCF;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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