Director, Center for International Development
“Schooling Can’t Buy Me Love”: Marriage, Work, and the Gender Education Gap
in Latin America
Ganguli, Ina, Ricardo Hausmann, and Martina Viarengo. "“Schooling Can’t Buy Me Love”: Marriage, Work, and the Gender Education Gap in Latin America." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP10-032, June 2010.
In this paper we establish six stylized facts related to marriage and work in Latin America and present a simple model to account for them. First, skilled women are less likely to be married than unskilled women. Second, skilled women are less likely to be married than skilled men. Third, married skilled men are more likely to work than unmarried skilled men, but married skilled women are less likely to work than unmarried skilled women. Fourth, Latin American women are much more likely to marry a less skilled husband compared to women in other regions of the world. Five, when a skilled Latin American woman marries down, she is more likely to work than if she marries a more or equally educated man. Six, when a woman marries down, she tends to marry the “better” men in that these are men that earn higher wages than those explained by the other observable characteristics. We present a simple game theoretic model that explains these facts with a single assumption: Latin American men, but not women, assign a greater value to having a stay-home wife.