Identifying a causal relationship between education and marital status poses methodological challenges. Using regression discontinuity analyses of U.S. Census data from 1910 and 1930, I estimate effects of early U.S. compulsory schooling laws on marital patterns by gender and race. Results from 1910 suggest compulsory laws had heterogeneous effects by race and gender, reducing the likelihood of being married only among non-white men. Results from 1930 suggest compulsory schooling decreased the racial gap in likelihood of being married and in age at first marriage by at least 24%. Contemporary implications include potential benefits of extended compulsory schooling for racial equality.
The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.