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Changes in Assortative Matching and Inequality in Income: Evidence for the UK

Chiappori, P-A; Costa-Dias, M; Crossman, S; Meghir, C; (2020) Changes in Assortative Matching and Inequality in Income: Evidence for the UK. Fiscal Studies , 41 (1) pp. 39-63. 10.1111/1475-5890.12217. Green open access

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Abstract

The extent to which like‐with‐like marry is important for inequality as well as for the outcomes of children who result from the union. In this paper, we present evidence on changes in assortative mating and its implications for household inequality in the UK. Our approach contrasts with others in the literature in that it is consistent with an underlying model of the marriage market. We argue that a key advantage of this approach is that it creates a direct connection between changes in assortativeness in marriage and changes in the value of marriage for the various possible matches by education group. Our empirical results do not show a clear direction of change in assortativeness in the UK between the birth cohorts of 1945–54 and 1965–74. We find that changes in assortativeness pushed income inequality up slightly, but that the strong changes in education attainment across the two cohorts contributed to scale down inequality.

Type: Article
Title: Changes in Assortative Matching and Inequality in Income: Evidence for the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1475-5890.12217
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-5890.12217
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Fiscal Studies published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. on behalf of Institute for Fiscal Studies. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: marital sorting, income inequality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101048
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