Education Returns in the Marriage Market: Does Female Education Investment Improve the Quality of Future Husbands in Egypt?

Asmaa Elbadawy, Population Council

The hypothesis in this paper is that the expectation of better marriage prospects and the potential upward social mobility for an educated woman influences parental educational investment decisions. This paper examines how female education improves marriage prospects in Egypt, including such husband characteristics as his education and his pre-marital wealth level. The relative contribution of spouses to marriage costs is also analyzed. Findings suggest that a high level of female education plays a strong role in her marrying a highly educated husband. In addition, female education is highly associated with living independently upon marriage, as opposed to living in an extended-family household, and negatively associated with being in a consanguineous marriage. Female education seems to play an insignificant role with respect to the share of marriage costs borne by a bride and her family.

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Presented in Session 89: Parental Investments in Education: Social, Economic, and Policy Influences