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Table 4 presents effects for spousal education outcomes. The table shows a consistent pattern: a higher relative wage causes women to be more likely to be married to spouses who are more educated, conditional on marrying. The first three columns measure the share of women who have a spouse with fewer years of education, the same level of education, or more years of education than they do, respectively. I find that a 10% increase in the relative wage leads to a 15% increase in the probability of marrying a partner more educated than oneself (5.1 p.p.), which results from equal declines in the probability of marrying a partner less educated and same educated relative to oneself. In the final column, I find that a 10% increase in the relative wage leads to a 0.26 year increase in the difference between husbands and wives.19

Table 4.

Impact of Relative Wage on Spousal Education

Spouse Education, Relative to OwnSpouse Minus Own Education
(1)(2)(3)(4)
LessSameMore
Effect of 10% increase in relative wage −0.023* −0.028 0.051*** 0.258*** 
 (0.012) (0.017) (0.013) (0.064) 
 
Mean Y 0.319 0.357 0.324 0.017 
Observations 22,663 22,663 22,663 22,663 
Average wage Yes Yes Yes Yes 
Spouse Education, Relative to OwnSpouse Minus Own Education
(1)(2)(3)(4)
LessSameMore
Effect of 10% increase in relative wage −0.023* −0.028 0.051*** 0.258*** 
 (0.012) (0.017) (0.013) (0.064) 
 
Mean Y 0.319 0.357 0.324 0.017 
Observations 22,663 22,663 22,663 22,663 
Average wage Yes Yes Yes Yes 

This table shows the coefficients from estimating equation (1) rescaled to represent the effect of a 10% increase in the relative (potential) wage. The dependent variable is an indicator for a spousal characteristic, is shown in the column heading. Standard errors are clustered at the state level, and cells are weighted by the female population in the cell. *p< 0.10, **p< 0.05, and ***p< 0.01.

Source: Census 1980, 1990, 2000, and ACS 2010.

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