NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Lasse Eika

Statistics Norway
Akersveien 26
0177, Oslo, Norway

E-Mail: Lasse.Eika@ssb.no

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2014Educational Assortative Mating and Household Income Inequality
with Magne Mogstad, Basit Zafar: w20271
We document the degree of educational assortative mating, how it evolves over time, and the extent to which it differs between countries. Our analysis focuses on the U.S. but also uses data from Denmark, Germany, the U.K., and Norway. We find evidence of positive assortative mating at all levels of education in each country. However, the time trends vary by the level of education: Among college graduates, assortative mating has been declining over time, whereas the low-educated are increasingly sorting into internally homogeneous marriages. These findings motivate and guide a decomposition analysis where we quantify the contribution of various factors to the distribution of household income. We find that educational assortative mating accounts for a non-negligible part of the cross-section...
 
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