Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality
Has there been an increase in positive assortative mating? Does assortative mating contribute to household income inequality? Data from the United States Census Bureau suggests there has been a rise in assortative mating. Additionally, assortative mating affects household income inequality. In particular, if matching in 2005 between husbands and wives had been random, instead of the pattern observed in the data, then the Gini coefficient would have fallen from the observed 0.43 to 0.34, so that income inequality would be smaller. Thus, assortative mating is important for income inequality. The high level of married female labor-force participation in 2005 is important for this result.
This paper is prepared for the 2014 American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Nezih Guner thanks the European Research Council (ERC Grant 263600) for financial support.
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 348-53, May. citation courtesy of