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Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Jeremy Greenwood

    (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA)

  • Nezih Guner

    () (ICREA-MOVE, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and Barcelona GSE, Spain)

  • Georgi Kocharkov

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

  • Cezar Santos

    () (University of Mannheim, Department of Economics, Germany)

Abstract

Has there been an increase in positive assortative mating? Does assortative mating contribute to household income inequality? Data from the United States Census Bureau suggests there has been a rise in assortative mating. Additionally, assortative mating a¤ects household income inequality. In particular, if matching in 2005 between husbands and wives had been random, instead of the pattern observed in the data, then the Gini coe¢ cient would have fallen from the observed 0.43 to 0.34, so that income inequality would be smaller. Thus, assortative mating is important for income inequality. The high level of married female labor-force participation in 2005 is important for this result.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2014. "Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-03, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1403
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    File URL: http://www.uni-konstanz.de/FuF/wiwi/workingpaperseries/WP_03_Kocharkov_2014.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, pages 1-41.
    2. Lam, David, 1993. "Demographic variables and income inequality," Handbook of Population and Family Economics,in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1015-1059 Elsevier.
    3. 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.
    4. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1998. "Assessing The Effects Of Wives' Earnings On Family Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 73-79.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Assortative mating; married female labor supply; inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • 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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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