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Returns to Elite Higher Education in the Marriage Market: Evidence from Chile

Number: 489
Year: 2013
Author(s): Katja Maria Kaufmann, Matthias Messner, Alex Solis
In this paper we estimate the marriage market returns to being admitted to a higher ranked (i.e. more "elite") university by exploiting unique features of the Chilean university admission system.This system centrally allocates applicants based on their university entrance test score, which allows us to identify causal effects by using a regression discontinuity approach. Moreover, the Chilean context provides us with the necessary data on the long run outcome 'partner quality'. We find that being admitted to a higher ranked university has substantial returns in terms of partner quality for women, while estimates for men are about half the size and not significantly different from zero.

Keywords: Returns to education quality, higher education, marriage market, regression discontinuity, Chile
JEL codes: I23, I24, J12