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Lady and the Trump: Status and Wealth in the Marriage Market

We examine a relatively neglected aspect of intergenerational transmission of economic standing, namely culturally determined status markers and their valuation in the marriage market. We take nobility to be such a status marker. Using data on Swedish marriages, we test the hypothesis that nobility have a greater probability of marrying "up" in terms of wealth. We find a large and statistically significant positive effect for nobility. This finding has important implications for the intergenerational transmission of inequality, and for the longevity of the institution of nobility itself.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0690.pdf
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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 690.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jan 2008
Date of revision: 10 Jul 2008
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0690
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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  1. Raquel Ferndez & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," Penn CARESS Working Papers d3d043317c8e26c4039c21aa0, Penn Economics Department.
  2. Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner & Shi, Xianwen, 2005. "Contests for Status," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 139, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Raquel Fernández & Richard Rogerson, 2001. "Sorting And Long-Run Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1305-1341, November.
  4. Scott Drewianka, 2003. "Estimating Social Effects in Matching Markets: Externalities in Spousal Search," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 409-423, May.
  5. Kremer, M., 1996. "How Much Does Sorting Increase Inequality?," Working papers 96-18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond The Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, And The Evolution Of Ethnic And Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988, August.
  7. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Ivan Werning, 2005. "The Equilibrium Distribution of Income and the Market for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 282-310, April.
  9. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  10. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status In Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188, February.
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