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Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality

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Has there been an increase in positive assortative mating? Does assortative mating contribute to household income inequality? Data from the United States Census Bureau suggests there has been a rise in assortative mating. Additionally, assortative mating affects household income inequality. In particular, if matching in 2005 between husbands and wives had been random, instead of the pattern observed in the data, then the Gini coefficient would have fallen from the observed 0.43 to 0.34, so that income inequality would be smaller. Thus, assortative mating is important for income inequality. The high level of married female labor-force participation in 2005 is important for this result.

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Paper provided by Economie d'Avant Garde in its series Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports with number 23.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:23

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Keywords: Assortative mating; contingency table; Gini coefficient; income inequality; Lorenz curve; married female labor-force participation;

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  1. Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos & Jeremy Greenwood, 2012. "Technology And The Changing Family: A Unified Model Of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment And Married Female Labor-Force Participation," 2012 Meeting Papers 168, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Lam, David, 1993. "Demographic variables and income inequality," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1015-1059 Elsevier.
  3. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1998. "Assessing The Effects Of Wives' Earnings On Family Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 73-79, February.
  4. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
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  1. Love & class
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-02-14 14:06:14
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Cited by:
  1. Alena Bicakova & Stepan Jurajda, 2014. "The Quiet Revolution and the Family: Gender Composition of Tertiary Education and Early Fertility Patterns," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp504, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. Eika, Lasse & Mogstad, Magne & Zafar, Basit, 2014. "Educational assortative mating and household income inequality," Staff Reports 682, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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