The Economics of Hypergamy

40 Pages Posted: 21 May 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

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

Knut Røed

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

Partner selection is a vital feature of human behavior with important consequences for individuals, families, and society. Hypergamy occurs when a husband’s earning capacity systematically exceeds that of his wife. We provide a theoretical framework that rationalizes hypergamy 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: marriage, gender identity, labor supply, household specialization

JEL Classification: J12, D10, J22

Suggested Citation

Almås, Ingvild and Kotsadam, Andreas and Moen, Espen R. and Røed, Knut, The Economics of Hypergamy (February 2019). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12185, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390172 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3390172

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

Norwegian Business School ( email )

N-0442 Oslo
Norway
+47 46410786 (Phone)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Knut Røed

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
303
Abstract Views
2,048
rank
146,880
PlumX Metrics