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Anthropometry of Love Height and Gender Asymmetries in Interethnic Marriages

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  • Mich??le Belot

    ()

  • Jan Fidrmuc

    ()

Abstract

Both in the UK and in the US, we observe puzzling gender asymmetries in the propensity to outmarry: Black men are substantially more likely to have white spouses than Black women, but the opposite is true for Chinese: Chinese men are half less likely to be married to a White person than Chinese women. We argue that differences in height distributions, combined with a simple preference for a taller husband, can explain a large proportion of these ethnic-specific gender asymmetries. Blacks are taller than Asians, and we argue that this significantly affects their marriage prospects with whites. We provide empirical support for this hypothesis using data from the Health Survey for England and the Mille- nium Cohort Study, which contains valuable and unique information on heights of married couples.

Suggested Citation

  • Mich??le Belot & Jan Fidrmuc, 2009. "Anthropometry of Love Height and Gender Asymmetries in Interethnic Marriages," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp950, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2009-950
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sohn, Kitae, 2015. "The value of male height in the marriage market," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 110-124.
    2. Delia Furtado & Stephen J. Trejo, 2013. "Interethnic marriages and their economic effects," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 15, pages 276-292 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:27:y:2017:i:pa:p:126-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jan Fidrmuc, 2012. "The Economics of Multilingualism in the EU," Chapters,in: Research Handbook on the Economics of European Union Law, chapter 15 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. 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.
    6. Abigail Weitzman & Dalton Conley, 2014. "From Assortative to Ashortative Coupling: Men's Height, Height Heterogamy, and Relationship Dynamics in the United States," NBER Working Papers 20402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kelly Balistreri & Kara Joyner & Grace Kao, 2015. "Relationship Involvement Among Young Adults: Are Asian American Men an Exceptional Case?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 34(5), pages 709-732, October.
    8. Clark, Andrew E. & Etilé, Fabrice, 2011. "Happy house: Spousal weight and individual well-being," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1124-1136.
    9. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Anthropometry and Socioeconomics in the Couple: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 2009-22, FEDEA.
    10. Philomena Bacon & Anna Conte & Peter Moffatt, 2014. "Assortative mating on risk attitude," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 389-401, October.
    11. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:42-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2017. "Gap of height and education within couple and its effect on conflict and evaluation about partners: psychological cost of division of labor within household," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-35, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    13. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2016. "Comparing the role of height between men and women in the marriage market," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-20, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    14. Carrieri, Vincenzo & De Paola, Maria, 2012. "Height and subjective well-being in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 289-298.
    15. Wilson, Nicholas & Janicki, Martha, 2016. "A cut above the rest? Private anthropometrics in marriage markets," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 164-179.
    16. Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2010. "Anthropometry and socioeconomics among couples: Evidence in the United States," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 373-384, December.
    17. Manfredini, Matteo & Breschi, Marco & Fornasin, Alessio & Seghieri, Chiara, 2013. "Height, socioeconomic status and marriage in Italy around 1900," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 465-473.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intermarriage; gender; height;

    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

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