American Economic Review: Vol. 99 No. 5 (December 2009)


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Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market

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Chiappori, Pierre-André, Murat Iyigun, and Yoram Weiss. 2009. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market." American Economic Review, 99(5): 1689-1713.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.1689


We present a model in which investment in schooling generates two kinds of returns: the labor-market return, resulting from higher wages, and a marriage-market return, defined as the impact of schooling on the marital surplus share one can extract. Men and women may have different incentives to invest in schooling because of different market wages or household roles. This asymmetry can yield a mixed equilibrium with some educated individuals marrying uneducated spouses. When the labor-market return to schooling rises, home production demands less time, and the traditional spousal labor division norms weaken, more women may invest in schooling than men. (JEL I21, J12, J24, J31)

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Chiappori, Pierre-André (Columbia U)
Iyigun, Murat (U CO and Harvard U)
Weiss, Yoram (Tel Aviv U and IZA, Bonn)

JEL Classifications

I21: Analysis of Education
J12: Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J31: Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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