The Economics of Hypergamy

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Almås, Invild, Andreas Kotsadam, Espen R. Moen, Knut Røed




Andre skrifter
IZA Disussion paper no. 12185

Sammendrag (engelsk)

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.


marriage, gender identity, labor supply, household specialization


J12, D10, J22

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Oppdragsgiver: Norges Forskningsråd
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