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Emiel Jerphanion, Tilburg U. Print
Friday, 01 March 2019, 12:15 - 13:15

ENTER seminar

Emiel Jerphanion, Tilburg University

Investment in Female Human Capital & Marital Gains

Abstract: This paper explores how marriage prospects affect female human capital investments. I exploit a South African legal reform to identify a positive shock in marital gains to human capital of black women. The reform provides married women with the full legal capacity to sign contracts and own property, whereas prior to the law they were considered legal minors. I find that treated women increase their education by 8-10 months and premarital use of the pill by sixteen percentage points. These results are consistent across various specifications where I compare black South African married women to non-black married women, to foreign black women of similar tribes in bordering regions and to other 'black' control groups that exploit variation in marriage propensity. The findings show that these marital gains are generated through a shift in intra-household bargaining power rather than improving marriage match quality. 

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