A Marriage-Market Perspective of the College Gender Gap and the Gender Pay Gap

42 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2016 Last revised: 15 Apr 2017

Hanzhe Zhang

Michigan State University

Date Written: April 15, 2017

Abstract

I construct an investments-and-marriage model where college and career investments, income distributions, marriage matching and marriage surplus division are determined in a unique equilibrium. Evidence supports the model's prediction about the rise in women's college enrollment due to societal, labor-market, and marriage-market changes. Most importantly, women's endogenously higher marriage-market returns on college simultaneously explain the reversed college gender gap and the gender pay gap: although women face additional career investment costs and consequently fewer women earn a high income, strictly more women than men go to college. Finally, I question the commonly predicted continued widening of the college gender gap.

Keywords: the college gender gap, the gender pay gap, career-marriage tradeoff, marriage-market returns on college

JEL Classification: C78, D1, I2

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Hanzhe, A Marriage-Market Perspective of the College Gender Gap and the Gender Pay Gap (April 15, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2770854 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2770854

Hanzhe Zhang (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

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