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Anthropometry of Love - Height and Gender Asymmetries in Interethnic Marriages

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  • Michèle Belot
  • Jan Fidrmuc

Abstract

Both in the UK and in the US, we observe puzzling gender asymmetries in the propensity to outmarry: Black men are more likely to have white spouses than Black women, but the opposite is true for Chinese: Chinese men are half less likely to be married to a White person than Chinese women. We argue that differences in height distributions, combined with a simple preference for a taller husband, can partly explain these ethnic-specific gender asymmetries. Blacks are taller than Asians, and we argue that this significantly affects their marriage prospects with whites. We provide empirical support for this hypothesis using data from the Millenium Cohort Study, which contains valuable and unique information on heights of married couples.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2846.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2846

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Keywords: intermarriage; gender; height;

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References

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  1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and status: Height, ability, and labor market outcomes," Working Papers 27, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  6. David Glowsky, 2007. "Why Do German Men Marry Women from Less Developed Countries?: An Analysis of Transnational Partner Search Based on the German Socio-Economic Panel," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 61, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert, 2009. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
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  14. Xin Meng & Dominique Meurs, 2009. "Intermarriage, language, and economic assimilation process: A case study of France," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 127-144, May.
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  19. Michele Belot & Marco Francesconi, 2006. "Can Anyone be "The" One? Evidence on Mate Selection from Speed Dating," Economics Discussion Papers 620, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
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  22. Roland G. Fryer Jr., 2007. "Guess Who's Been Coming to Dinner? Trends in Interracial Marriage over the 20th Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 71-90, Spring.
  23. Ours, J.C. van & Veenman, J.M.C., 2008. "How Interethnic Marriages Affect the Educational Attainment of Children: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Discussion Paper 2008-7, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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  26. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2001. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-013, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 05 Jan 2004.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Clark, A.; & Etilé, F.;, 2010. "Happy House: Spousal weight and individual well-being," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Chiswick, Barry R. & Houseworth, Christina A., 2008. "Ethnic Intermarriage among Immigrants: Human Capital and Assortative Mating," IZA Discussion Papers 3740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Anthropometry and Socioeconomics in the Couple: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 2009-22, FEDEA.
  4. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
  5. Manfredini, Matteo & Breschi, Marco & Fornasin, Alessio & Seghieri, Chiara, 2013. "Height, socioeconomic status and marriage in Italy around 1900," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 465-473.
  6. Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2010. "Anthropometry and socioeconomics among couples: Evidence in the United States," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 373-384, December.

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