Wealth, Wages, and Wedlock: Explaining the College Gender Gap Reversal

Reijnders, L. S. M., Apr-2018, In : Scandinavian Journal of Economics. 120, 2, p. 537-562 26 p.

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  • Laurie S. M. Reijnders

In this paper, I study the role of changes in the wage structure and expectations about marriage in explaining the college gender gap reversal. With strongly diminishing marginal utility of wealth and in the presence of a gender wage gap, single women have a greater incentive than single men to invest in education. Marriage-market distortions tend to depress the overall benefit of education for women relative to men. I develop a tractable two-period model and parameterize it using US census data for the cohort born in 1950. I then show that it can generate a reversal and that the most important driving force for this is the decline in marriage rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-562
Number of pages26
JournalScandinavian Journal of Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2018


  • Education, gender wage gap, home production, marriage, WOMEN, INEQUALITY, MARRIAGE, ATTAINMENT, EDUCATION, MEN

ID: 78976357