Incentives in education and marriage
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Choices pertaining to education, marriage and migration generally have profound impacts on individuals' lives. This dissertation focuses on the role of incentives in decisions involving education, interracial marriage and migration. To this end, Chapter 2 initiates a new line of research that investigates the role of self-employed parents on their children's post-graduation plans and college success. Chapter 2 reveals that self-employed parents affect their offspring's college success even after accounting for possible ability bias and controlling for various individual characteristics. While Chapter 2 focuses on the role of parental occupation on students' incentives to succeed in college, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 investigate intricate relationships among education, interracial marriage, the anti-miscegenation laws, and migration in the U.S. Chapter 3 introduces a study that links previous literatures on the migration of blacks in the U.S. during the Great Migration with anti-miscegenation laws and interracial marriage. Chapter 3 concludes that anti-miscegenation laws in individuals' states of birth affected the sorting of inter- and intraracially married black males into destination states differentially. Chapter 4 contributes to the previous literature on the determinants of black-white marriages by focusing on the impact of geographical variation of the distributions of black and white education and individual education on interracial marriage.