NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Basit Zafar

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Working Papers

July 2014Educational Assortative Mating and Household Income Inequality
with Lasse Eika, Magne Mogstad: w20271
We investigate the pattern of educational assortative mating, its evolution over time, and its impact on household income inequality. To these ends, we use rich data from the U.S. and Norway over the period 1980-2007. We find evidence of positive assortative mating at all levels of education in both countries. However, the time trends vary by the level of education: Among college graduates, assortative mating has been declining over time, whereas low educated are increasingly sorting into internally homogenous marriages. When looking within the group of college educated, we find strong but declining assortative mating by academic major. These findings motivate and guide a decomposition analysis, where we quantify the contribution of various factors to the distribution of household income. ...
April 2011Household Debt and Saving During the 2007 Recession
with Rajashri Chakrabarti, Donghoon Lee, Wilbert van der Klaauw: w16999
Using administrative credit report records and data collected through several special household surveys we analyze changes in household debt and savings during the 2007 recession. We find that while different segments of the population were affected in distinct ways, depending on whether they owned a home, whether they owned stocks and whether they had secure jobs, the crisis’ impact appears to have been widespread, affecting large shares of households across all age, income and education groups. In response to their deteriorated financial situation, households reduced their average spending and increased saving. The latter increase – at least in 2009 – did not materialize itself through an increase in contributions to retirement and savings accounts. If anything, such contributions actual...

Forthcoming: Household Debt and Saving during the 2007 Recession, Rajashri Chakrabarti, Donghoon Lee, Wilbert van der Klaauw, Basit Zafar. in Measuring Wealth and Financial Intermediation and Their Links to the Real Economy, Hulten and Reinsdorf. 2014

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