IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mil/wpdepa/2018-02.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Looking in Your Partner’s Pocket Before Saying “Yes!" Income Assortative Mating and Inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Carlo V. FIORIO
  • Stefano VERZILLO

Abstract

Income assortative mating has seldom been investigated in the literature, mostly because of endogeneity concerns related to simultaneity and omitted variable biases. Using the tax records of a major region in Italy for 2007 to 2011, we first show that income assortative mating is present mostly at very high income levels. In comparison with the median woman, women belonging to the top 1% of their income distribution are about 25 times more likely to get married to men belonging to the top 1% of their income distribution. Second, we show that, even when dealing with simultaneity and omitted variable biases, assortative mating remains significantly larger for very high-earning couples. Finally, we assess the effect of income assortative mating on inequality by assuming random pairing. Our results are consistent with previous results showing that the effects are limited on income inequality as measured by a summary statistic, such as the Gini index. However, by exploiting the large size of our administrative dataset, we show that, when a bivariate partition of the population is considered (e.g. couples with both spouses in the top 1% of their gender-specific distribution), the effect of assortative mating on inequality is huge, as, for the average counterfactual income determined by assuming random pairing, the top income share would be reduced by more than 80%.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo V. FIORIO & Stefano VERZILLO, 2018. "Looking in Your Partner’s Pocket Before Saying “Yes!" Income Assortative Mating and Inequality," Departmental Working Papers 2018-02, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2018-02
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://wp.demm.unimi.it/files/wp/2018/DEMM-2018_02wp.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Nicola Barban & Elisabetta De Cao & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2016. "Assortative Mating on Education: A Genetic Assessment," Working Papers 2016-034, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    3. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2013. "Regression Analysis of Count Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107667273, May.
    4. A. B. Atkinson, 2005. "Top incomes in the UK over the 20th century," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(2), pages 325-343, March.
    5. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    6. Nico Pestel, 2017. "Marital Sorting, Inequality and the Role of Female Labour Supply: Evidence from East and West Germany," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(333), pages 104-127, January.
    7. Carlo V. Fiorio, 2011. "Understanding Italian Inequality Trends," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 73(2), pages 255-275, April.
    8. 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.
    9. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2007. "The Race between Education and Technology: The Evolution of U.S. Educational Wage Differentials, 1890 to 2005," NBER Working Papers 12984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jeff Larrimore, 2014. "Accounting for United States Household Income Inequality Trends: The Changing Importance of Household Structure and Male and Female Labor Earnings Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 683-701, December.
    11. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    12. Mary C. Daly & Robert G. Valletta, 2006. "Inequality and Poverty in United States: The Effects of Rising Dispersion of Men's Earnings and Changing Family Behaviour," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(289), pages 75-98, February.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555, Elsevier.
    16. 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.
    17. Marianne Bertrand & Emir Kamenica & Jessica Pan, 2015. "Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 571-614.
    18. Cowell, Frank, 2011. "Measuring Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780199594047.
    19. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Patrick Kline & Emmanuel Saez, 2014. "Where is the land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1553-1623.
    20. repec:hrv:faseco:30750027 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. 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..
    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. Anthony B. Atkinson & Alessandra Casarico & Sarah Voitchovsky, 2018. "Top incomes and the gender divide," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 225-256, June.
    2. , Stone Center & Yonzan, Nishant, 2020. "Assortative Mating and Labor Income Inequality: Evidence from Fifty Years of Coupling in the U.S," SocArXiv 4whvs, Center for Open Science.
    3. Nico Pestel, 2021. "Searching on campus? The marriage market effects of changing student sex ratios," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 1175-1207, December.

    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. 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.
    2. Iryna Kyzyma & Alessio Fusco & Philippe Van Kerm, 2022. "Distributional Change: Assessing the Contribution of Household Income Sources," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 84(1), pages 158-184, February.
    3. , Stone Center & Yonzan, Nishant, 2020. "Assortative Mating and Labor Income Inequality: Evidence from Fifty Years of Coupling in the U.S," SocArXiv 4whvs, Center for Open Science.
    4. Shoshana Grossbard & Lucia Mangiavacchi & William Nilsson & Luca Piccoli, 2022. "Spouses’ earnings association and inequality: A non-linear perspective," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 20(3), pages 611-638, September.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Sasiwimon Warunsiri Paweenawat & Lusi Liao, 2018. "Educational Assortative Mating and Income Inequality in Thailand," PIER Discussion Papers 92, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Bratsberg, Bernt & Markussen, Simen & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut & Røgeberg, Ole J., 2018. "Trends in Assortative Mating and Offspring Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 11753, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Omoniyi Alimi & David C Maré & Jacques Poot, 2018. "Who partners up? Educational assortative matching and the distribution of income in New Zealand," Working Papers 18_13, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    10. Almås, Ingvild & Kotsadam, Andreas & Moen, Espen R & Røed, Knut, 2019. "The Economics of Hypergamy," CEPR Discussion Papers 13606, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Diederik Boertien & Milan Bouchet-Valat, 2020. "Are Increasing Earnings Associations Between Partners of Concern for Inequality? A Comparative Study of 21 Countries," LIS Working papers 793, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    12. Nie, Haifeng & Xing, Chunbing, 2019. "Education expansion, assortative marriage, and income inequality in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 37-51.
    13. Rania Gihleb, 2014. "Educational Homogamy and Assortative Mating Have Not Increased," Working Paper 6052, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    14. Bicakova, Alena & Jurajda, Štepán, 2016. "Field-of-Study Homogamy," IZA Discussion Papers 9844, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Blundell, Richard & Joyce, Robert & Norris Keiller, Agnes & Ziliak, James P., 2018. "Income inequality and the labour market in Britain and the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 48-62.
    16. Barban, Nicola & De Cao, Elisabetta & Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2021. "The effect of education on spousal education: A genetic approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    17. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "Distributional National Accounts: Methods and Estimates for the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(2), pages 553-609.
    18. Tessa Conroy & Steven Deller & Philip Watson, 2021. "Regional income inequality: a link to women-owned businesses," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 189-207, January.
    19. Fernholz, Ricardo T., 2016. "A Model of economic mobility and the distribution of wealth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 168-192.
    20. Nicola Barban & Elisabetta De Cao & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2016. "Assortative Mating on Education: A Genetic Assessment," Working Papers 2016-034, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Assortative Mating; Administrative Data; Inequality; Income Shares;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

    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:mil:wpdepa:2018-02. 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/damilit.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: DEMM Working Papers The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask DEMM Working Papers to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/damilit.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.