The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import

IZA Discussion Paper No. 2899

University of Aarhus Economics Working Paper No. 2007-7

36 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2007

See all articles by Helena Skyt Nielsen

Helena Skyt Nielsen

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nina Smith

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Aycan Celikaksoy

Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Date Written: July 2007

Abstract

We investigate the effect of immigrants' marriage behavior on dropout from education. To identify the causal effect, we exploit a recent Danish policy reform which generated exogenous variation in marriage behavior by a complete abolishment of spouse import for immigrants below 24 years of age. We find that the abrupt change of marriage behavior following the reform is associated with improved educational attainment of young immigrants. The causal impact of marriage on dropout for males is estimated to be around 20 percentage points, whereas the effect for females is small and mostly insignificant. We interpret the results as being consistent with a scenario where family investment motives drive the behavior of males, while the association between marriage and dropout for females is driven by selection effects. The estimated causal effect varies considerably across subgroups.

Keywords: education, dropout, immigrants, spouse import, marriage migration, family investment model

JEL Classification: I21, J12

Suggested Citation

Nielsen, Helena Skyt and Smith, Nina and Celikaksoy, Aycan, The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import (July 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2899, University of Aarhus Economics Working Paper No. 2007-7, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1000373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1000373

Helena Skyt Nielsen (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business Economics ( email )

Fuglesangs Alle 4
Aarhus, 8210
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://person.au.dk/hnielsen@econ.au.dk

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Nina Smith

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business Economics ( email )

Universitetsparken
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Denmark
+45 8948 6413 (Phone)
+45 8615 5175 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Aycan Celikaksoy

Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

SOFI, Stockholms universitet
106 91 Stockholm
Stockholm, 106 91
Sweden
+4608-16 2230 (Phone)

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