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Assortative mating and ethnicity in the low wage population: an examination of spouses' earnings

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  • Michael Zimmer

Abstract

Social scientists have long maintained an interest in the socioeconomic underpinnings of marital formation. Considerable research has focused on patterns of spouse selection which tend to pair individuals of like characteristics. One area which invites more research involves assortative mating of labour market characteristics such as hours worked and hourly wages. This study examines correlations among husband-wife pairs in the low-income population. Based on a special data extract from the Seattle-Denver income maintenance experiments, regression models of wages and hours worked are estimated separately for husbands and wives. Residuals from these models are used to estimate husband-wife correlations in unmeasured labour market traits. Results indicate evidence to support the hypothesis that spouse-selection patterns are not consistent across race groups and point to the need for further research.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Zimmer, 1996. "Assortative mating and ethnicity in the low wage population: an examination of spouses' earnings," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(5), pages 311-315.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:3:y:1996:i:5:p:311-315 DOI: 10.1080/135048596356429
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    Cited by:

    1. Florencia Lopez-Boo, 2008. "How Do Crises Affect Schooling Decisions? Evidence from Changing Labor Market Opportunities and a Policy Experiment," Research Department Publications 4602, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Mercan, Murat A., 2011. "Assortative mating and Turkish marriage market," MPRA Paper 32261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Natalia Winder & Hugo R. Ñopo, 2008. "Ethnicity and Human Capital Accumulation in Urban Mexico," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1636, Inter-American Development Bank.
    4. Luc Arrondel & Nicolas Frémeaux, 2013. ""For richer, for poorer": savings preferences and choice of spouse," PSE Working Papers halshs-00786245, HAL.
    5. Rebekka Christopoulou & Dean R. Lillard, 2016. "Migration to the US and marital mobility," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 669-694, September.
    6. Robert A. Nakosteen & Olle Westerlund & Michael A. Zimmer, 2004. "Marital Matching and Earnings: Evidence from the Unmarried Population in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    7. Morando, Greta, 2014. "Partner ethnicity and ethnic minority socio- economic occupation: evidence from the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-29, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Sanjaya DeSilva & Mohammed Mehrab Bin Bakhtiar, 2011. "Women, Schooling, and Marriage in Rural Philippines," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_701, Levy Economics Institute.
    9. Valerio Filoso, 2010. "Bright and Wealthy: Exploring Assortative Mating," Chapters,in: Institutional and Social Dynamics of Growth and Distribution, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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