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Marriage and Assortative Mating

PI: Elaina Rose
Sponsor: Marriage and Assortative Mating
Project Period: -
Amount: $143,099.00


The role of marriage has undergone profound change in recent decades. Changes in the patterns of "assortative mating," i.e., in the types of partners that individuals choose when they do form unions likely accompany the changes in marriage patterns. The objective of this proposal is to expand the literature on marriage and assortative mating by refining the estimates of marriage and assortative mating patterns, and developing an econometric model of the joint union status and partner choice outcomes. The proposal includes a pilot study of the patterns in marriage and assortative mating with respect to education which suggests the following specific research questions: (1.) How does the relationship between education and the likelihood of marriage differ when cohabitors are treated as married couples? (2) Are assortative mating patterns different for cohabiting and married couples? (3.) What are the patterns in assortative mating with respect to characteristics such as parents' education and "unobserved ability"? (4.) Can the cohort differences in the marriage patterns be explained by differences in observables such as education, family policy, or marriage market conditions? (5.) Can changes in assortative mating be explained by changes in the pattern of selection into marriage? (6.) Do women face a tradeoff between partner quality and union "cohesion"?