Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality

25 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2014

See all articles by Jeremy Greenwood

Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nezih Guner

ICREA-MOVE; Autonomous University of Barcelona; Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)

Georgi Kocharkov

Goethe University Frankfurt - House of Finance

Cezar Santos

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 13, 2014

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Assortative mating, contingency table, Gini coefficient, income inequality, Lorenz curve, married female labor-force participation, standardized contingency table

JEL Classification: D31, J11, J12, J22

Suggested Citation

Greenwood, Jeremy and Guner, Nezih and Kocharkov, Georgi and Santos, Cezar, Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality (January 13, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2378360 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2378360

Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-1505 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jeremygreenwood.net

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nezih Guner (Contact Author)

ICREA-MOVE ( email )

Campus de Bellaterra-UAB Edifici B (s/n)
EDIFICI B
Cerdanyola del Vallès
, Barcelona 08193
Spain

Autonomous University of Barcelona ( email )

Plaça Cívica
Cerdañola del Valles
Barcelona, Barcelona 08193
Spain

Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE) ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
Barcelona, Barcelona 08005
Spain

Georgi Kocharkov

Goethe University Frankfurt - House of Finance ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, DE 60323
Germany

Cezar Santos

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190/1125, CEP
Rio de Janeiro RJ 22253-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/czrsantos

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