The Dynamics of Assortative Mating in Germany

25 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2012

See all articles by Barbara S. Grave

Barbara S. Grave

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen)

Christoph M. Schmidt

RWI - Leibniz-Insitut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI Essen); Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

This paper examines the patterns of educational assortative mating in East and West Germany. In the literature it is well known that individuals do not mate randomly with respect to social and cultural traits, and that highly assortative mating can lead to polarization and exacerbate economic inequality. For Germany, little is known about actual patterns of marriage formation along educational lines. Our empirical analysis for Germany shows that educational assortative mating has increased significantly for East and West Germany during the last 15 and 30 years, respectively. To control for secular increases in educational attainment we apply different log-linear methods, leading to the conclusion that the observed changes in assortative mating in East and West Germany might be explained by changes in partner preferences. Especially within the group of low educated persons, the preferences for a homogamous partnership seems to have increased over time.

Keywords: Assortative marriage, Microcensus, education, log-linear models

JEL Classification: I20, J12

Suggested Citation

Grave, Barbara S. and Schmidt, Christoph M., The Dynamics of Assortative Mating in Germany (June 1, 2012). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 346, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2122485 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2122485

Barbara S. Grave (Contact Author)

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

Christoph M. Schmidt

RWI - Leibniz-Insitut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstraße 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany
++49 201 8149-227 (Phone)
++49 201 8149-236 (Fax)

Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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