Educational Homogamy and Assortative Mating Have Not Increased

36 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2016

See all articles by Rania Gihleb

Rania Gihleb

Boston University - Department of Economics

Kevin Lang

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

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Abstract

Some economists have argued that assortative mating between men and women has increased over the last several decades, thereby contributing to increased family income inequality. Sociologists have argued that educational homogamy has increased. We clarify the relation between the two and, using both the Current Population Surveys and the decennial Censuses/American Community Survey, show that neither is correct. The former is based on the use of inappropriate statistical techniques. Both are sensitive to how educational categories are chosen. We also find no evidence that the correlation between spouses' potential earnings has changed dramatically.

Keywords: assortative mating

JEL Classification: J12

Suggested Citation

Gihleb, Rania and Lang, Kevin, Educational Homogamy and Assortative Mating Have Not Increased. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10413, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2886784

Rania Gihleb (Contact Author)

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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