Black-White Marital Matching: Race, Anthropometrics, and Socioeconomics

34 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2011

See all articles by Pierre-Andre Chiappori

Pierre-Andre Chiappori

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics

Sonia Oreffice

University of Surrey

Climent Quintana-Domeque

University of Oxford

Abstract

We analyze the interaction of race with physical and socioeconomic characteristics in the U.S. marriage market, using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from 1999 to 2009 for black, white, and inter-racial couples. We consider the anthropometric characteristics of both spouses, together with their wage and education, and estimate who inter-racially marries whom along these dimensions. Distinctive patterns arise by gender and race for inter-married individuals: the black women who inter-marry are the thinner and more educated in their group; instead, white women are the fatter and less educated; black or white men who inter-marry are poorer and thinner. While women in "mixed" couples find a spouse who is poorer but thinner than if they intra-married, black men match with a white woman who is more educated than if they intra-married, and a white man finds a thinner spouse in a black woman.

Keywords: interracial couples, marriage market, BMI, wages, education

JEL Classification: D1, J1

Suggested Citation

Chiappori, Pierre-Andre and Oreffice, Sonia and Quintana-Domeque, Climent, Black-White Marital Matching: Race, Anthropometrics, and Socioeconomics. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6196, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1976527 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1976527

Pierre-Andre Chiappori (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Sonia Oreffice

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/soniaoreffice/

Climent Quintana-Domeque

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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