Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality

27 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2014

See all articles by Jeremy Greenwood

Jeremy Greenwood

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

Nezih Guner

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Georgi Kocharkov

Goethe University Frankfurt - House of Finance

Cezar Santos

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

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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, married female labor supply, inequality

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. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7895. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2385152

Jeremy Greenwood (Contact Author)

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

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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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