Multi-Trait Matching and Intergenerational Mobility: A Cinderella Story

29 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2011

See all articles by Natalie Chen

Natalie Chen

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Paola Conconi

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Carlo Perroni

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: October 2011

Abstract

Empirical studies of intergenerational social mobility have found that women are more mobile than men. To explain this finding, we describe a model of multi-trait matching and inheritance, in which individualsÂ’ attractiveness in the marriage market depends on their market and non-market characteristics. We show that the observed gender differences in social mobility can arise if market characteristics are relatively more important in determining marriage outcomes for men than for women and are more persistent across generations than non-market characteristics. Paradoxically, the female advantage in social mobility may be due to their adverse treatment in the labor market. A reduction in gender discrimination in the labor market leads to an increase in homogamy in the marriage market, lowering social mobility for both genders.

Keywords: Gender Earnings Gap, Inheritance, Matching, Social Mobility

JEL Classification: C78, D13, J31

Suggested Citation

Chen, Natalie and Conconi, Paola and Perroni, Carlo, Multi-Trait Matching and Intergenerational Mobility: A Cinderella Story (October 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8605. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1952472

Natalie Chen (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

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United Kingdom
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Paola Conconi

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

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Carlo Perroni

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

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United Kingdom
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44 24 7652 3032 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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