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Opposites Attract – Evidence of Status Exchange in Ethnic Intermarriages in Sweden

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  • Elwert, Annika

    () (Department of Economic History, Lund University)

Abstract

This study raises the question of how marriage market relevant status characteristics are distributed among partners in exogamous relationships. The status exchange hypothesis posits that partners in racially and ethnically heterogamous relationships trade status characteristics, mainly education. We address this hypothesis focusing on intermarriages between immigrants and native men (N=606,257) and women (N=600,165) in Sweden using register data covering the entire Swedish population for the period 1990 to 2009. Results from binomial and multinomial logistic regressions show that low status in terms of age, income, and previous relationships are determinants for exogamy, and that the main marriage market relevant status that is exchanged is age, not education. This holds particularly for immigrants from certain countries of origin such as for wives from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Swedish men and women show surprisingly large symmetry in status exchange patterns

Suggested Citation

  • Elwert, Annika, 2016. "Opposites Attract – Evidence of Status Exchange in Ethnic Intermarriages in Sweden," Lund Papers in Economic History 147, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:luekhi:0147
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Delia Furtado, 2012. "Human Capital And Interethnic Marriage Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 82-93, January.
    2. Barry Chiswick & Christina Houseworth, 2011. "Ethnic intermarriage among immigrants: human capital and assortative mating," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 149-180, June.
    3. Aaron Gullickson & Florencia Torche, 2014. "Patterns of Racial and Educational Assortative Mating in Brazil," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(3), pages 835-856, June.
    4. Östh, John & van Ham, Maarten & Niedomysl, Thomas, 2010. "The geographies of recruiting a partner from abroad. An exploration of Swedish data," Arbetsrapport 2009:21, Institute for Futures Studies.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Interethnic marriage; Immigration/Migrant families; Ethnicity; Western European families;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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