PSC Working Paper Series

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Greenwood, Jeremy, Nexih Guner, Georgi Kocharkov, and Cezar Santos. 2014. "Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality." Philadelphia, PA: Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania. PSC Working Paper Series, PSC 14-1.


Has there been an increase in positive assortative mating? Does assortative mating contribute to household income inequality? Data from the United States Census Bureau suggests there has been a rise in assortative mating. Additionally, assortative mating affects household income inequality. In particular, if matching in 2005 between husbands and wives had been random, instead of the pattern observed in the data, then the Gini coefficient would have fallen from the observed 0.43 to 0.34, so that income inequality would be smaller. Thus, assortative mating is important for income inequality. The high level of married female labor-force participation in 2005 is important for this result.


Assortative Mating, Contingency Table, Gini Coefficient, Income Inequality, Lorenz Curve, Married Female Labor-Force Participation, Standardized Contingency Table



Date Posted: 13 January 2014