The Economics of Hypergamy

42 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2019

See all articles by Ingvild Almås

Ingvild Almås

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES)

Andreas Kotsadam

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Espen R. Moen

BI Norwegian Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Knut Roed

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

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

Partner selection is a vital feature of human behavior with important consequences for indi-viduals, families, and society. Hypergamy occurs when a husband's earning capacity system-atically exceeds that of his wife. We provide a theoretical framework that rationalizes hy-pergamy even in the absence of gender differences in the distribution of earnings capacity. Using parental earnings rank, a predetermined measure of earnings capacity that solves the simultaneity problem of matching affecting earnings outcomes, we show that hypergamy is an important feature of Norwegian mating patterns. A vignette experiment identifies gender differences in preferences that can explain the observed patterns.

Keywords: gender identity, Household specialization, Labor Supply, Marriage

JEL Classification: D10, J12, J22

Suggested Citation

Almås, Ingvild and Kotsadam, Andreas and Moen, Espen R. and Røed, Knut, The Economics of Hypergamy (March 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13606, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3360073

Ingvild Almås (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) ( email )

Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden

Andreas Kotsadam

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

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Espen R. Moen

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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

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