Education and Economic Gains of Family Formation: A Test of Cross-Productivity Effect

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Tehran


Researching on the economic gains of marriage is one of the fields in family economics studies. Accordingly, the aim of this paper is to investigate marriage gains as couples' income increases while the main hypothesis is based on cross-productivity effect. The resulted evidence from families of Tehran suggests that the cross-productivity effect exists for both of spouses whereas this effect is active only from wives to their husbands in foreign studies. The results show that one year increase in wives' education leads to (in average) 2.85% increase in their husbands' income and one year increase in husbands' education brings about (in average) 3% increase in their wives' income. Hence, men and women are complement of each other.


  1. بانک مرکزی (1392). شاخص‏های عمدۀ اقتصادی سال 1391، ادارۀ روابط عمومی.
  2. سازمان ثبت احوال کشور (1392). آمار رویدادهای حیاتی.
  3. سازمان فناوری اطلاعات و ارتباطات شهرداری تهران (1390). آمارنامة شهر تهران 1389: سالنامة آماری شهر تهران، تهران: انتشارات سازمان فناوری اطلاعات و ارتباطات شهرداری تهران.
  4. کلینی رازی (1362). الفروع من الکافی، تهران: دارالکتب الاسلامیه.
  5. مهربانی، وحید (1387). «تأثیر آموزش بر فقر و نابرابری درآمدها»، مجلة تحقیقات اقتصادی، 43(82)، ۲۱۱ ـ 225.
    1. Ahituv, A. & Lerman R.I. (2005). How Do Marital Status, Wage Rates and Work Commitment Interact?, IZA Discussion Paper, No. 1688.
    2. Bartlett, R.L. & Callahan, C. (1984). Wage Determination and Marital Status: Another Look, Industrial Relations, 23(1), 90-96.
    3. Becker, G.S. (1973). A Theory of Marriage: Part I, The Journal of Political Economy, 81(4), 813-846.
    4. Becker, G.S. (1985). Human Capital, Effort and the Sexual Division of Labor, Journal of Labor Economics, 3(1), Part 2, S33-S58.
    5. Becker, G.S. (1993a). A Treatise on the Family, Enlarged Edition, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
    6. Becker, G.S. (1993b). Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
    7. Benham, L. (1974). Benefits of Women's Education within Marriage, The Journal of Political Economy, 82(2),Part 2, S57-S71.
    8. Grossbard-Shechtman, S.A. & Neuman, S. (1991). Cross-productivity Effects of Education and Origin on Earnings: Are They Really Reflecting Productivity?, Handbook of Behavioral Economics, 2A, 125-145.
    9. Hewitt, B., Western, M. & Baxter, J. (2002). Marriage and Money: The Impact of Marriage on Men's and Women's Earnings, Australian Sociological Conference, Discussion Paper-007.
    10. Huang, C., Li, H., Liu, P.W. & Zhang, J. (2006). Why Does Spousal Education Matter for Earnings? Assortative Mating or Cross-Productivity, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
    11. Israel, G.D. (2009). Determining Sample Size, University of Florida, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
    12. Jarvis, S. & Jenkins, S.P. (1999). Marital Splits and Income Changes: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey, Population Studies, 53(2),237-254.
    13. Kenny, L.W. (1978). Male Wage Rates and Marital Status, NBER Working Paper Series, No. 271.
    14. Kenny, L.W. (1983). The Accumulation of Human Capital During Marriage by Males, Economic Inquiry, 21(2), 223-231.
    15. Mincer, J.A. (1974). Age and Experience Profiles of Earnings, in Schooling, Experience and Earnings, Edited by Jacob A. Mincer, Cambridge: Columbia University Press, pp. 64-82.
    16. Parsons, D.O. (1977). Health, Family Structure and Labor Supply, The American Economic Review, 67(4), 703-712.
    17. Rosen, S. (1988). Human Capital, in the New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, Edited by John Eatwell, Murray Milgate and Peter Newman, London and Basingstoke: The Macmillan Press Limited.
    18. Schoeni, R.F. (1995). Marital Status and Earnings in Developed Countries, Journal of Population Economics, 8(4), 351-359.
    19. Scully, G.W. (1979). Mullahs, Muslims and Marital Sorting, The Journal of Political Economy, 87(5), Part 1, 1139-1143.
    20. Sigle-Rushton, W. & McLanahan, S. (2002). For Richer or Poorer? Marriage as an Anti-Poverty Strategy in the United States, Population, (English Edition), 57(3), 509-526.
    21. Waite, L.J. (1995). Does Marriage Matter?, Demography, 32(4), 483-507.
    22. Welch, F. (1974). Benefits of Women's Education within Marriage: Comment, The Journal of Political Economy, 82(2), Part 2, S72-S75.
    23. Yamamura, E. & Mano, Y. (2011). An Investigation into the Positive Effect of an Educated Wife on her Husband's Earnings: The Case of Japan in the Period Between 2000-2003, Munich Personal RePEc Archive Paper No. 31097.

Volume 49, Issue 4 - Serial Number 4
January 2015
Pages 903-925
  • Receive Date: 18 November 2013
  • Revise Date: 01 March 2014
  • Accept Date: 30 September 2014
  • First Publish Date: 22 December 2014