IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/demogr/v50y2013i1p51-70.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Marital Sorting and Parental Wealth

Author

Listed:
  • Kerwin Charles

    ()

  • Erik Hurst
  • Alexandra Killewald

Abstract

The extent of marital sorting by socioeconomic background has implications for the intergenerational transmission of inequality, the role of marriage as a mechanism for social mobility, and the extent of cross-group interactions within a society. However, studies of assortative mating have disproportionately focused on spouses’ education, rather than their social origins. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), and exploiting the unique genealogical design of the data set, we study the degree to which spouses sort on the basis of parental wealth. We find that the estimated correlation in parental wealth among married spouses, after controlling for race and age, is about .4. Importantly, we show that controlling for spousal education explains only one-quarter of sorting based on parental wealth. We show that our results are robust to accounting for measurement error in spousal reports of parental wealth and for selection into and out of marriage. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Kerwin Charles & Erik Hurst & Alexandra Killewald, 2013. "Marital Sorting and Parental Wealth," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 51-70, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:1:p:51-70
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-012-0144-6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s13524-012-0144-6
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raquel Fernández & Richard Rogerson, 2001. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1305-1341.
    2. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2003. "The Correlation of Wealth across Generations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1155-1182, December.
    3. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1993. "'Til Death Do Us Part: Marital Disruption and Mortality," Papers 93-10, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    4. Barsky R. & Bound J. & Charles K.K. & Lupton J.P., 2002. "Accounting for the Black-White Wealth Gap: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 663-673, September.
    5. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    6. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    7. Saul Hoffman & Greg Duncan, 1988. "What are the economic consequences of divorce?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 25(4), pages 641-645, November.
    8. Michael Kremer, 1997. "How Much does Sorting Increase Inequality?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 115-139.
    9. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-429, June.
    10. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
    11. Chun, Hyunbae & Lee, Injae, 2001. "Why Do Married Men Earn More: Productivity or Marriage Selection?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 307-319, April.
    12. Pencavel, John, 1998. "Assortative Mating by Schooling and the Work Behavior of Wives and Husbands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 326-329, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Dupuy & Alfred Galichon, 2014. "Personality Traits and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1271-1319.
    2. Edwards, Ryan D. & Roff, Jennifer, 2016. "What mom and dad’s match means for junior: Marital sorting and child outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 43-56.
    3. Frank Cowell & Dirk Van de gaer, 2017. "Condorcet was Wrong, Pareto was Right: Families, Inheritance and Inequality," STICERD - Public Economics Programme Discussion Papers 34, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    4. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0572-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Abigail Weitzman & Dalton Conley, 2014. "From Assortative to Ashortative Coupling: Men's Height, Height Heterogamy, and Relationship Dynamics in the United States," NBER Working Papers 20402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Santiago Pereda Fernández, 2016. "Copula-based random effects models for clustered data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1092, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    7. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Lundborg, Petter & Majlesi, Kaveh, 2015. "Poor Little Rich Kids? The Determinants of the Intergenerational Transmission of Wealth," IZA Discussion Papers 9227, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Luc Arrondel & Nicolas Frémeaux, 2013. ""For richer, for poorer": savings preferences and choice of spouse," PSE Working Papers halshs-00786245, HAL.
    9. Yang Hu, 2016. "Marriage of matching doors: Marital sorting on parental background in China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(20), pages 557-580, August.
    10. Nikolai Roussanov & Pavel G. Savor, 2012. "Status, Marriage, and Managers' Attitudes To Risk," NBER Working Papers 17904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/7o52iohb7k6srk09mj4j5amb8 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Joni Hersch, 2013. "Opting out among women with elite education," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 469-506, December.
    13. Luc Arrondel & Nicolas Frémeaux, 2016. "‘For Richer, For Poorer’: Assortative Mating and Savings Preferences," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(331), pages 518-543, July.
    14. Hällsten, Martin & Pfeffer, Fabian T., 2017. "Grand advantage: family wealth and grandchildren's educational achievement in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2017:3, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    15. Jorge M. Agüero & Maithili Ramachandran, 2016. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Schooling among the Education-Rationed," Working papers 2016-25, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social mobility; Marriage; Inequality; Multigenerational; Wealth;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:1:p:51-70. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.