Does Educational Expansion Increase Educational Homogamy?
In the late 1980s, Hong Kong’s colonial government deliberately expanded post-secondary education, greatly increasing women’s access to universities. Using this change in policy as an instrument, we estimate the correlation between the level of education of individuals and that of their spouses using a two-stage least-squares (2SLS) regression model. The estimates reveal the effects of the expansion policy on educational homogamy. Our findings, based on a micro-data analysis of data from the Hong Kong census, show that the ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates of the education of individual women and their spouses are downward biased, indicating that the women most affected by the expansion of higher education are more likely to marry someone of a similar level of education. Several robustness checks are performed. The analysis highlights the importance of understanding the consequences of educational policies on family formation. Our study also extends the existing literature on the long-term impacts of policies to expand higher education in a new institutional context.