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The Relationship Between the Effects of a Wife’s Education on her Husband’s Earnings and her Labor Participation: Japan in the period 2000 -2003

  • Yamamura, Eiji
  • Mano, Yukichi

In this paper, we explore the relationship between the influence of wives’ human capital on their husbands’ earnings and their labor participation using individual level data for Japan in the period 2000–2003. We found that a wife’s human capital has a positive effect on her husband’s earnings regardless of her work status when the entire sample is used. Furthermore, we focused on couples with an age difference exceeding five years to remove the assortative mating effect. By using this subsample, the positive effect of a wife’s education is observed when a wife is a non-worker, that is she does not work outside the home, but disappears in those who are workers, that is they work outside the home. This suggests that a wife’s labor participation drastically reduces the positive effect of her human capital on her husband’s earnings after controlling for the assortative mating effect. It follows from this that an educated housewife improves her husband’s productivity, consequently increasing his earnings, whereas a working wife appears to not have enough time to do so. These findings are consistent with implications drawn from the situation in the United States (Jepsen 2005).

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 22439.

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Date of creation: 02 May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22439
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  1. Lam. D. & Schoeni, R.F., 1996. "Effects on Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil," Papers 96-13, RAND - Reprint Series.
  2. Tiefenthaler, Jill, 1997. "The Productivity Gains of Marriage: Effects of Spousal Education on Own Productivity across Market Sectors in Brazil," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(3), pages 633-50, April.
  3. Theodore W. Schultz, 1974. "Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number schu74-1, October.
  4. Kenny, Lawrence W, 1983. "The Accumulation of Human Capital during Marriage by Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(2), pages 223-31, April.
  5. Lars Lefgren & Frank McIntyre, 2006. "The Relationship between Women's Education and Marriage Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 787-830, October.
  6. Chong Huang & Hongbin Li & Pak Wai Liu & Junsen Zhang, 2009. "Why Does Spousal Education Matter for Earnings? Assortative Mating and Cross-Productivity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(4), pages 633-652, October.
  7. Eiji Yamamura, 2008. "Diffusion of home computers and social networks: a study using Japanese panel data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(15), pages 1231-1235.
  8. Corcoran, Mary, et al, 1990. "Effects of Family and Community Background on Economic Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 362-66, May.
  9. Behrman, Jere R & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1984. "The Socioeconomic Impact of Schooling in a Developing Country," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 296-303, May.
  10. Shahina Amin & Lisa K. Jepsen, 2005. "The Impact of a Wife's Education on Her Husband's Earnings in Malaysia," The Journal of Economics, Missouri Valley Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 1-18.
  11. Neuman, Shoshana & Ziderman, Adrian, 1992. "Benefits of Women's Education within Marriage: Results for Israel in a Dual Labor Market Context," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 413-24, January.
  12. Eng Seng Loh, 1996. "Productivity Differences and the Marriage Wage Premium for White Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 566-589.
  13. Pak-Wai Liu & Junsen Zhang, 1999. "Assortative mating versus the cross-productivity effect," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(8), pages 523-525.
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