Discussion Paper Details

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Title: The Economics of Hypergamy

Author(s): Ingvild Almås, Andreas Kotsadam, Espen R Moen and Knut Røed

Publication Date: March 2019

Keyword(s): gender identity, Household specialization, Labor Supply and Marriage

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics

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.

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Bibliographic Reference

Almås, I, Kotsadam, A, Moen, E and Røed, K. 2019. 'The Economics of Hypergamy'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.