Women's College Decisions: How Much Does Marriage Matter?

56 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2009 Last revised: 8 Apr 2011

See all articles by Suqin Ge

Suqin Ge

Virginia Tech - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 6, 2008


This paper investigates the sequential college attendance decisions of young women and quantifies the impact of marriage expectations on their decisions to attend and graduate from college. A dynamic choice model of college attendance, labor supply, and marriage is formulated and structurally estimated using panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). The model is used to simulate the effects of no marriage benefits and finds that the predicted college attendance rate would drop from 61% to 56%. Using the estimated model, the college attendance behavior for a younger cohort (data taken from the NLSY97) is predicted and used to validate the behavioral model.

Keywords: college, marriage, assortative mating, NLSY, women

JEL Classification: J12, J22, I21

Suggested Citation

Ge, Suqin, Women's College Decisions: How Much Does Marriage Matter? (March 6, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1376404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1376404

Suqin Ge (Contact Author)

Virginia Tech - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

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