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Student loans or marriage? A look at the highly educated

Dora Gicheva

Economics of Education Review, 2016, vol. 53, issue C, 207-216

Abstract: I examine the relationship between student loans and marital status among individuals considering or pursuing graduate management education. Using data from a panel survey of registrants for the Graduate Management Admission Test, I show that the amount of accumulated student debt is negatively related to the probability of first marriage. The strength of the relationship diminishes with age, more so for women than for men. At the median age for the sample (24 years at test registration), the estimated decrease over a seven-year period is between 3 and 4 percentage points per $10,000 in student debt for men and a percentage point lower in absolute value for women. I use information on reported marriage expectations to show evidence that education expenditures and the amount of debt are correlated with anticipated marital status, but borrowers may not have perfect foresight about the long-term consequences of accumulating student debt.

Keywords: Student loans; Timing of marriage; Education expenditures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I22 J12 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2016.04.006

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