Do private school girls marry rich?


  • Francis Green University College London
  • Golo Henseke University College London
  • Samantha Parsons University College London
  • Alice Sullivan University College London
  • Richard Wiggins University College London



private school, pay, social mobility, homogamy, marriage


This paper considers for the first time whether there is school-type homogamy, and whether for women there are significant advantages from private schooling as a consequence of school-type homogamy. Its focus is Britain, where a private education is associated with substantial labour market advantages and where access is socially exclusive. We find that privately educated women are 7 percentage points more likely than observably similar state-educated women to marry privately educated men. Privately educated married women have husbands who earn 15% higher pay, according to the BHPS-UKHLS panel (20% at age 42, according to the British Cohort Study). Causation is not established and considerable caution would be needed if interpreting these associations as reflecting causal effects from private schools. The findings nevertheless raise anew the issue of the negative association between Britain’s private schooling and social mobility.

Author Biography

Francis Green, University College London

Professor of Work and Education Economics