Unobserved endowments and gender differences in marriage matching

Wenchao Li, Xuyan Lou, Junjian Yi, Junsen Zhang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the effects of unobserved earnings-related endow-ments on marital outcomes, focusing on potential gender differences. Onthe basis of a less stringent, more plausible assumption that monozygotictwins share more similar endowments relative to dizygotic twins, we de-velop a novel identification strategy from twins experiment. Using uniqueChinese twins survey data, we find that men with genetic endowments re-lated to higher earnings marry earlier and have younger, taller wives; suchwomen marry later and have older husbands with higher education and in-come. Results cast doubt on the conventional assumption of independencebetween unobservables and observable marital attributes
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Labor Economics
Publication statusPublished Online - 2022


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