Changes in Assortative Matching and Educational Inequality: Evidence from Marriage and Birth Records in Mexico
41 Pages Posted: 13 May 2021
Date Written: May 12, 2021
Over the past three decades, educational attainment in Mexico has grown substantially, and changing demographic trends have resulted in lower birth and marriage rates. Increasing educational attainment may affect marriage patterns through the growing supply of partners with higher education levels and changing preferences over their partner's education level. Using administrative records on births and marriages, we quantify changes in the relative education levels within married and non-married couples. Our findings suggest two main patterns. First, assortativeness is higher when focusing on non-adjacent versus adjacent education categories. That is, it is more common for a college graduate to partner with a secondary-school educated partner rather than a partner with only a primary-school education. Second, assortativeness among college graduates has grown considerably over time. These findings hold across both marital and birth records.
Keywords: Marriage, Mexico, Assortative Matching
JEL Classification: J12,I24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation