What would happen if guys didn’t have to impress women with their salary?

Of course I am going to come out and say the obvious: Not every woman is after a man for his money, and not every man is looking to make the big bucks to impress a woman.

Now that’s over and done with, what if a guy’s job had no effect on his value in the marriage market?

How would that affect a young man’s career choices?


This paper examines the extent to which human capital and career decisions are affected by their potential returns in the marriage market.

Although schooling and career decisions often are made before getting married, these decisions are likely to affect the future chances of receiving a marriage offer, the type of offer, and the probability of getting divorced.

Therefore, I estimate a forward‐looking model of the marriage and career decisions of young men between the ages of 16 and 39.

The results show that if there were no returns to career choices in the marriage market, men would tend to work less, study less, and choose blue‐collar jobs over white‐collar jobs.

These findings suggest that the existing literature underestimates the true returns to human capital investments by ignoring their returns in the marriage market.

Source: “Marriage and Career: The Dynamic Decisions of Young Men” from “Journal of Human Capital”

Interesting stuff, don’t you think?

It makes you wonder why men in particular choose the jobs they do, and the positions they take.

It might be a biological thing too — that men want to make more money than women so they can take care of them and their family, or just out of sheer desire.

It also brings up another question: What about women who go into high-paying positions and take on big salaries? What’s their motivation in regards to the marriage market?

I’d suggest that based on the above, women who don’t make a high salary are more likely to find someone than women who do, for a number of reasons:

What do you think?

Do you think the findings above are true — that men would work less, study less and take more blue collar jobs if they didn’t need to think about marriage?

Would the marriage market make a difference in what women choose to do? If so, why?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.