Trends in Assortative Mating and Offspring Outcomes

49 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018

See all articles by Bernt Bratsberg

Bernt Bratsberg

Kansas State University - Department of Economics; University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Simen Markussen

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Oddbjorn Raaum

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Knut Roed

Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ole Jorgen Røgeberg

Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Abstract

Fertility patterns and assortative mating help shape the level and the distribution of offspring outcomes. Increased assortative mating among the less educated has been reported across Western nations, suggesting that inequality in parental resources may be on the rise. In times of rising attainment, we argue that it is difficult to interpret trends in educational assortative mating as they can arise from change in sorting into education as much as from change in sorting into partnerships. Using rank measures of parental resources that have constant marginal distributions, we uncover evidence of declining assortative mating over the last 30 years in Norway. We also find an increasingly positive selection into parenthood. Estimating the contribution of parental resources to offspring outcomes, we show that recent trends in mating have caused a small rise in average offspring education and earnings as well as a decline in offspring inequality.

Keywords: assortative mating, homogamy, intergenerational mobility, inequality

JEL Classification: J12, J24, J62, D63

Suggested Citation

Bratsberg, Bernt and Markussen, Simen and Raaum, Oddbjørn and Røed, Knut and Røgeberg, Ole Jorgen, Trends in Assortative Mating and Offspring Outcomes. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11753, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3249867

Bernt Bratsberg (Contact Author)

Kansas State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Manhattan, KS 66502-4001
United States

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0349 Oslo
Norway

Simen Markussen

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Oddbjørn Raaum

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Knut Røed

Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0349 Oslo
Norway

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Ole Jorgen Røgeberg

Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0349 Oslo
Norway
+ 47 22 95 88 27 (Phone)
+ 47 22 95 88 25 (Fax)

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