Educational Assortative Mating and Individual Income Development: Results from Longitudinal Register Data in Sweden 1990-2005

Martin Dribe1, Paul Nystedt 1
1Lund University, Sweden, 2Linköping University, Sweden

A large number of studies have indicated that educational homogamy is strong in most Western societies, although the trends over time have differed across countries. Positive assortative mating by education is usually related to exposure to potential marriage partners through school and college or preferences for similar values and attitudes of marriage partners. The educational level of the spouse might also have a direct effect on ones career path, through information sharing, access to networks, household division of labor and allocation of time etc.. In this paper we study the connection between educational assortative mating and income development. We use longitudinal register based data for the entire Swedish population born 1942-1989, and follow them from 1990 to 2005. Our empirical strategy is to exploit the longitudinal perspective using distributed fixed effects models estimating the effects of partner choice on post-marital income, relating it to how the income developed in advance of marriage. The data used contains annual information on different sorts of income (labor, self- employment, social transfers, etc), field and level of education, country of birth, municipality of residence, as well as on most demographic characteristics, such as presence of children, migration and non-marital cohabitation (in cases with common children.

View full paper