The Effect of Female Education on Marital Matches and Child Health in Bangladesh
Journal of Population Economics 31, no. 3 (2018): 915-936.
30 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2016 Last revised: 23 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 13, 2017
This paper examines the effects of female education on marriage outcomes by exploiting the exogenous variation generated by the Female Secondary School Stipend Program in Bangladesh, which made secondary education free for rural girls. Our findings show that an additional year of female education leads to an increase in 0.72 years of husband’s education and that better educated women pair with spouses who have better occupations and are closer in age to their own, suggesting assortative mating. Those educated women appear to experience greater autonomy in making decisions on receiving their own health care and visiting their family. Furthermore, educated women have lower fertility and use more maternal health care, and their children have better health outcomes than those of less educated women. Overall, our results suggest that the marriage market is one of the channels through which women’s education affects their life outcomes.
Keywords: Female education, school stipend program, assortative mating, spouse characteristics, child health, Bangladesh
JEL Classification: I15, I21, I25, J12, J13, O12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation