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The Economics of Hypergamy

Ingvild Almås (), Andreas Kotsadam (), Espen R. Moen () and Knut Røed ()
Additional contact information
Ingvild Almås: IIES, Stockholm University
Espen R. Moen: Norwegian Business School (BI)

No 12185, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 D10 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-lab
Date: 2019-02
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