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

Author

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  • Almenberg, Johan

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Dreber, Anna

    () (Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

We examine a hitherto unexplored 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. We propose a two-trait extension of the optimal sorting model in Becker (1973). Using data on Swedish marriages we test the hypothesis that nobility have a greater probability of marrying up in terms of wealth. Our main finding is a sizeable and statistically significant positive effect for nobility. We use unique data on the evolution of nobility to make some predictions about the longevity of this institution.

Suggested Citation

  • Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna, 2008. "Lady and the Trump: Status and Wealth in the Marriage Market," Working Paper Series 728, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 10 Jul 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0728
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2000. "Why the Rich Are Nastier Than the Poor--A Note on the Distribution of Wealth When Individuals Care for Payoff Differentials," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 153-159.
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    Cited by:

    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 33-72, May.
    2. Persson, Petra, 2015. "Social insurance and the marriage market," Working Paper Series 2015:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Yamamura, Eiji, 2009. "Socio-economic status, gender, and spouse’s earnings: affect of family background on matching," MPRA Paper 17100, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage; Status; Intergenerational Transmission; Nobility;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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