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The Dynamics of Assortative Mating in Germany

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  • Grave, Barbara S.
  • Schmidt, Christoph M.

Abstract

This paper examines the patterns of educational assortative mating in East and West Germany. In the literature it is well known that individuals do not mate randomly with respect to social and cultural traits, and that highly assortative mating can lead to polarization and exacerbate economic inequality. For Germany, little is known about actual patterns of marriage formation along educational lines. Our empirical analysis for Germany shows that educational assortative mating has increased significantly for East and West Germany during the last 15 and 30 years, respectively. To control for secular increases in educational attainment we apply different log-linear methods, leading to the conclusion that the observed changes in assortative mating in East and West Germany might be explained by changes in partner preferences. Especially within the group of low educated persons, the preferences for a homogamous partnership seems to have increased over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Grave, Barbara S. & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2012. "The Dynamics of Assortative Mating in Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 346, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:346
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/61465/1/72225105X.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pencavel, John, 1998. "Assortative Mating by Schooling and the Work Behavior of Wives and Husbands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 326-329, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katrin Huber & Erwin Winkler, 2016. "All We Need is Love? Trade-Adjustment, Inequality, and the Role of the Partner," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 873, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Julia Bredtmann & Jochen Kluve & Sandra Schaffner, 2013. "Mothers' Transitions into the Labor Market under Two Political Systems: Comparing East and West Germany before Reunification," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 133(3), pages 375-408.
    3. Naudé, Wim & Nagler, Paula, 2017. "Technological Innovation and Inclusive Growth in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 11194, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Feld Lars P. & Schmidt Christoph M., 2016. "Jenseits der schrillen Töne," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 188-205, July.
    5. Pasteau, Etienne & Zhu, Junyi, 2018. "Love and money with inheritance: Marital sorting by labor income and inherited wealth in the modern partnership," Discussion Papers 23/2018, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0149 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Assortative marriage; Microcensus; education; log-linear models;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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