Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Marriage is one of the most important institutions affecting people’s lives and well-being. Using Current Population Survey, this paper will compare the 1979 and 2009 data to examine the effect a woman's education attainment has on her family’s standard of living. This research mainly focuses on the relationship between the wife/partner's education level and her partner's earnings. First, this study investigates whether the IT revolution which has allowed women to have flexible work hours, has increased their household productivity and thus increase their husbands’ earnings. Second, this paper examines whether the current increasing extended family households in the U.S. have a significant effect on female wages and family standard of living. Finally, we will examine whether partners’ education levels in cohabited relationship are the same as in married couples. This paper used a modified version of Behrman (2002) and Mincer's (1974) wage model. New variables such as the number of children in the household, race, existence of extended family, and whether there is a home based worker will be added to the model.

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