IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp11573.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Education Expansion, Assortative Marriage, and Income Inequality in China

Author

Listed:
  • Nie, Haifeng

    (Sun Yat-Sen University)

  • Xing, Chunbing

    (Beijing Normal University)

Abstract

We use census and household survey data to document China's educational assortative marriage and its evolution between 1990 and 2009. Empirical results suggest that men are increasingly likely to marry with women with similar education levels in China since the early 1990s, which is also true for urban areas and for different provinces. We then calculate the counterfactual Gini coefficients that would prevail if marriage matching was random in terms of education. For China in 2005, the inequality of per capita household income would drop from 0.508 to 0.476 if marriage was random. For urban areas in 2009, assortative marriage in education also increased the Gini coefficients by around 2 percentage points (from 0.316 to 0.337). The decomposition exercise shows that the increase in the return to education is the major contributor to the increase in urban household income inequality between 1990 and 2009, and the change in the assortative marriage pattern plays a minor role.

Suggested Citation

  • Nie, Haifeng & Xing, Chunbing, 2018. "Education Expansion, Assortative Marriage, and Income Inequality in China," IZA Discussion Papers 11573, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11573
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp11573.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Du, Julan & Wang, Yongqin & Zhang, Yan, 2015. "Sex imbalance, marital matching and intra-household bargaining: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 197-218.
    2. Aloysius Siow, 2015. "Testing Becker's Theory of Positive Assortative Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 409-441.
    3. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2009. "The Optimal Income Taxation of Couples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 537-560, March.
    4. Raquel Fernández & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2005. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 273-344.
    5. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    6. Démurger, Sylvie & Gurgand, Marc & Li, Shi & Yue, Ximing, 2009. "Migrants as second-class workers in urban China? A decomposition analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 610-628, December.
    7. Cai Fang & Du Yang & Wang Meiyan, 2009. "Migration and Labor Mobility in China," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-09, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
    8. 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.
    9. Meng, Xin & Shen, Kailing & Xue, Sen, 2013. "Economic reform, education expansion, and earnings inequality for urban males in China, 1988–2009," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 227-244.
    10. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2014. "Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 348-353, May.
    11. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
    12. Xin Meng & Kailing Shen & Sen Xue, 2010. "Economic Reform, Education Expansion, and Earnings Inequality for Urban Males in China, 1988-2007," CEPR Discussion Papers 639, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    13. Thomas Piketty & Nancy Qian, 2009. "Income Inequality and Progressive Income Taxation in China and India, 1986-2015," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 53-63, April.
    14. Xuejun Liu & Albert Park & Yaohui Zhao, 2010. "Explaining Rising Returns to Education in Urban China in the 1990s," Trade Working Papers 22720, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    15. de Brauw, Alan & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Linxiu & Zhang, Yigang, 2002. "The Evolution of China's Rural Labor Markets During the Reforms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 329-353, June.
    16. repec:wyi:journl:002165 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-773, October.
    18. Wei Chi & Richard Freeman & Hongbin Li, 2012. "Adjusting to Really Big Changes: The labor Market in China, 1989-2009," Working Paper 446386, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    19. Lasse Eika & Magne Mogstad & Basit Zafar, 2019. "Educational Assortative Mating and Household Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(6), pages 2795-2835.
    20. 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..
    21. Zhang, Junsen & Zhao, Yaohui & Park, Albert & Song, Xiaoqing, 2005. "Economic returns to schooling in urban China, 1988 to 2001," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 730-752, December.
    22. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
    23. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Salanié, Bernard & Weiss, Yoram, 2015. "Partner Choice and the Marital College Premium: Analyzing Marital Patterns Over Several Decades," CEPR Discussion Papers 10403, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    24. Liu, Haoming & Lu, Jingfeng, 2006. "Measuring the degree of assortative mating," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 317-322, September.
    25. Michael Kremer, 1997. "How Much does Sorting Increase Inequality?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 115-139.
    26. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 11-26, Part II, .
    27. Alexander Frankel, 2014. "Taxation of Couples under Assortative Mating," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 155-177, August.
    28. Burtless, Gary, 1999. "Effects of growing wage disparities and changing family composition on the U.S. income distribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 853-865, April.
    29. Fang, Cai & Yang, Du & Meiyan, Wang, 2009. "Migration and Labor Mobility in China," MPRA Paper 19187, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    30. Hongyun Han, 2010. "Trends in educational assortative marriage in China from 1970 to 2000," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(24), pages 733-770.
    31. Björn Gustafsson & Shi Li, 2000. "Economic transformation and the gender earnings gap in urban China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 305-329.
    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. Huang, Bin & Zhu, Yu, 2020. "Higher Education Expansion, the Hukou System, and Returns to Education in China," IZA Discussion Papers 12954, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lusi Liao & Sasiwimon Warunsiri Paweenawat, 2018. "Educational Assortative Mating and Income Inequality in Thailand," PIER Discussion Papers 92, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Aug 2018.
    2. Edoardo Ciscato & Simon Weber, 2020. "The role of evolving marital preferences in growing income inequality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 307-347, January.
    3. Bicakova, Alena & Jurajda, Stepan, 2016. "Field-of-Study Homogamy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11177, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Anderson, Gordon & Leo, Teng Wah, 2013. "An empirical examination of matching theories: The one child policy, partner choice and matching intensity in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 468-489.
    5. Lasse Eika & Magne Mogstad & Basit Zafar, 2019. "Educational Assortative Mating and Household Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(6), pages 2795-2835.
    6. Rania Gihleb, 2014. "Educational Homogamy and Assortative Mating Have Not Increased," Working Paper 6052, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    7. Aloysius Siow, 2015. "Testing Becker's Theory of Positive Assortative Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 409-441.
    8. Xing, Chunbing & Li, Shi, 2012. "Residual wage inequality in urban China, 1995–2007," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 205-222.
    9. Shoshana Grossbard & Lucia Mangiavacchi & William Nilsson & Luca Piccoli, 2019. "Spouses' Income Association and Inequality: A Non-Linear Perspective," Working Papers 2019-076, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    10. Pilar Gonalons-Pons & Christine R. Schwartz, 2017. "Trends in Economic Homogamy: Changes in Assortative Mating or the Division of Labor in Marriage?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(3), pages 985-1005, June.
    11. Ivan Vidangos & Joseph Altonji, 2014. "Marriage Dynamics, Earnings Dynamics, and Lifetime Family Income," 2014 Meeting Papers 1230, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2016. "Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment, and Married Female Labor-Force Participation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-41, January.
    13. Nicolas Frémeaux & Arnaud Lefranc, 2020. "Assortative Mating and Earnings Inequality in France," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(4), pages 757-783, December.
    14. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Khushboo Surana & Frederic Vermeulen, 2020. "Marital Matching, Economies of Scale, and Intrahousehold Allocations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 823-837, October.
    15. Pierre-André Chiappori & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir, 2020. "Changes in Assortative Matching: Theory and Evidence for the US," NBER Working Papers 26932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Veli Safak, 2020. "Matching Multidimensional Types: Theory and Application," Papers 2006.14243, arXiv.org.
    17. Kirsten Cornelson & Aloysius Siow, 2016. "A Quantitative Review of Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family by Carbone and Cahn," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 193-207, March.
    18. Goussé, Marion & Jacquemet, Nicolas & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2017. "Household labour supply and the marriage market in the UK, 1991-2008," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 131-149.
    19. Handy, Christopher, 2014. "Assortative Mating and Intergenerational Persistence of Schooling and Earnings," MPRA Paper 63829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education expansion; assortative marriage; income inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:iza:izadps:dp11573. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    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.