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The Effects of Endogamous Marriage on Family Outcomes: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Immigrant Flows During 1900-1930 in the United States

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  • Ho-Po Crystal Wong

    (West Virginia University, College of Business and Economics)

Abstract

Positive assortative matching in terms of traits like ethnicity, race and personality has been prevalent in marital formation. One possible explanation for this is that husbands and wives in endogamous marriages have complementary skills and tastes that increase marital surplus. This paper aims to estimate the effects of ethnic assortative matching on a variety of household outcomes by using the exogenous variation in immigrant flows in the United States during the period 1900-1930 to disentangle the selection effect of partners. The major finding is that the complementarities in home production from same ethnic marriage enhances investment in household public goods such as childrearing and home ownership and reduces the market labor supply of wives. OLS and Logit estimates of this effect appear to be substantially biased downward, indicating positive selection into intermarriage in terms of unobservable traits that increase marital surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Ho-Po Crystal Wong, 2014. "The Effects of Endogamous Marriage on Family Outcomes: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Immigrant Flows During 1900-1930 in the United States," Working Papers 14-31, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wvu:wpaper:14-31
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    File URL: http://busecon.wvu.edu/phd_economics/pdf/14-31.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Delia Furtado & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2007. "Interethnic Marriage Decisions: A Choice between Ethnic and Educational Similarities," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0716, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    endogamous marriage; assortative matching; immigrants; intermarriage; labor supply; children; household public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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