Advertisement

Demography

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 481–502 | Cite as

Educational assortative mating and economic inequality: A comparative analysis of three Latin American countries

  • Florencia TorcheEmail author
Article

Abstract

Educational assortative mating and economic inequality are likely to be endogenously determined, but very little research exists on their empirical association. Using census data and log-linear and log-multiplicative methods, I compare the patterns of educational assortative mating in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico, and explore the association between marital sorting and earnings inequality across countries. The analysis finds substantial variation in the strength of specific barriers to educational intermarriage between countries, and a close association between these barriers and the earnings gaps across educational categories within countries. This finding suggests an isomorphism between assortative mating and economic inequality. Furthermore, educational marital sorting is remarkably symmetric across gender in spite of the different resources that men and women bring to the union. This study highlights the limitations of using single aggregate measures of spousal educational resemblance (such as the correlation coefficient between spouses’ schooling) to capture variation in assortative mating and its relationship with socioeconomic inequality.

Keywords

Latin American Country Assortative Mating Economic Inequality Marriage Market Educational Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Atkinson, A. 2007. “The Distribution of Earnings in OECD Countries.” International Labour Review 146(1–2): 41–60.Google Scholar
  2. Bjorvatn, K. and A.W. Cappelen. 2003. “Inequality, Segregation and Redistribution.” Journal of Public Economics 87: 1657–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blackwell, D. and D. Lichter 2000. “Mate Selection Among Married and Cohabiting Couples.” Journal of Family Issues 21: 275–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. —. 2004. “Homogamy Among Dating, Cohabiting, and Married Couples.” Sociological Quarterly 45: 719–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blau, P. and J. Schwartz. 1984. Crosscutting Social Circles. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Blossfeld, H.P. and A. Timm. 2003. Who Marries Whom? Educational Systems as Marriage Markets in Modern Societies. The Hague, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Bourdieu, P. 1984. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bratsberg, B., K. Røed, O. Raaum, R. Naylor, M. Jantti, T. Eriksson, and E. Osterbacka. 2007. “Nonlinearities In Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Consequences for Cross-Country Comparisons.” The Economic Journal 117: C72-C92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Breen, R. and L. Salazar. 2009. “Educational Assortative Mating and Earnings Inequality in the US.” Working paper. Sociology Department, Yale University.Google Scholar
  10. Burtless, G. 1999. “Effects of Growing Wage Disparities and Changing Family Composition on the U.S. Income Distribution.” European Economic Review 43(4–6): 853–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Byrne, D. 1971. The Attraction Paradigm. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Castro, T. 2002. “Consensual Unions in Latin America: Persistence of a Dual Nuptiality System.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 33(1): 35–55.Google Scholar
  13. Chadwick, L. and G. Solon. 2002. “Intergenerational Income Mobility Among Daughters.” American Economic Review 92: 335–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dahan, M. and A. Gaviria. 2001. “Sibling Correlations and Intergenerational Mobility in Latin America.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 49: 537–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Ferranti, D., G. Perry, F. Ferreira and M. Walton. 2004. Inequality in Latin America. Breaking With History? Washington, DC: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. De Vos, S. 1999. “Comment of Coding Marital Status in Latin America.” Journal of Comparative Family Studies 30: 79–93.Google Scholar
  17. Duryea, S. and C. Pages. 2002. “Achieving High Labor Productivity in Latin America: Is Education Enough?” Mimeographed document. Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  18. Ermisch, J., M. Francesconi, and T. Siedler. 2006. “Intergenerational Mobility and Marital Sorting” Economic Journal 116: 659–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Esteve, A. 2004. “Tendencias en homogamia educacional en Mexico: 1970–2000” [Educational homogamy trends in Mexico: 1970–2000]. Estudios Demográficos y Urbanos 20: 341–62.Google Scholar
  20. Esteve, A. and R. McCaa. 2007. “Homogamia Educacional en México y Brasil, 1970–2000: Pautas y Tendencias” [Educational homogamy in Mexico and Brazil 1970–2000: Patterns and trends]. Latin American Research Review 42: 56–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fernandez, R., N. Guner, and J. Knowles. 2005. “Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality.” Quarterly Journal of Economic 120: 273–344.Google Scholar
  22. Fernandez, R. and R. Rogerson. 2001. “Sorting and Lon-Run Inequality.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 116: 1305–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Goodman, L. 1979. “Simple Models for the Analysis of Association in Cross-Classifications Having Ordered Categories.” Journal of the American Statistical Association 74: 537–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Haberman, S. 1974. “Log-Linear Models for Frequency Tables With Ordered Classifications.” Biometrics 30: 589–600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hajnal, J. 1953. “Age at Marriage and Proportions Marrying.” Population Studies 7: 111–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Heaton, T.B., R. Forste, and S.M. Otterstrom. 2002. “Family Transitions in Latin America: First Intercourse, First Union, and First Birth.” International Journal of Population Geography 8: 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hout, M. 1982. “The Association Between Husbands’ and Wives’ Occupations in Two-Earner Families.” American Journal of Sociology 88: 397–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. —. 1983. Mobility Tables. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  29. Jantti, M., B. Bratsberg, K. Røed, O. Raaum, R. Naylor, E. Österbacka, A. Björklund, and T. Eriksson. 2006. “American Exceptionalism in a New Light: A Comparison of Intergenerational Earnings Mobility in the Nordic Countries, the United Kingdom and the United States.” IZA Discussion Paper 1938. Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn, Germany.Google Scholar
  30. Jepsen, L. and C. Jepsen. 2002. “An Empirical Analysis of the Matching Patterns of Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Couples” Demography 39: 435–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Johnson, R. 1980. Religious Assortative Mating in the United States. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  32. Kalmijn, M. 1994. “Assortative Mating by Cultural and Economic Occupational Status.” American Journal of Sociology 100: 422–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. —. 1998. “Intermarriage and Homogamy: Causes, Patterns, Trends.” Annual Review of Sociology 24: 395–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kalmijn, M. and H. Flap. 2001. “Assortative Meeting and Mating: Unintended Consequences of Organized Settings for Partner Choices.” Social Forces 79: 1289–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kremer, M. 1997. “How Does Sorting Increase Inequality?” Quarterly Journal of Economics 112: 115–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lamont, M. and V. Molnar. 2002. “The Study of Boundaries in the Social Sciences.” Annual Review of Sociology 28: 167–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lloyd, C., ed. 2005. Growing Up Global. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  38. Lobmayer, P. and R. Wilkinson. 2002. “Inequality, Residential Segregation by Income, and Mortality in US Cities.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 56: 183–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mare, R. 1991. “Five Decades of Educational Assortative Mating.” American Sociological Review 56: 15–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. -. 2000. “Assortative Mating, Intergenerational Mobility, and Educational Inequality.” Working Paper CCPR-004-00. California Center for Population Research, UCLA.Google Scholar
  41. Mare, R. and C. Schwartz. 2006. “Income Inequality and Educational Assortative Mating: Accounting for Trends From 1940 to 2003.” Working Paper CCPR-017-05. California Center for Population Research, UCLA.Google Scholar
  42. Massey, D. 1996. “The Age of Extremes: Concentrated Affluence and Poverty in the Twenty-First Century.” Demography 33: 395–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Oppenheimer, V. 1994. “Women’s Rising Employment and the Future of the Family in Industrial Societies.” Population and Development Review 20: 293–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Portes, A. and K. Hoffman. 2003. “Latin American Class Structures: Their Composition and Change During the Neoliberal Era.” Latin American Research Review 38: 41–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Psacharopoulos, G. and H. Patrinos. 2002. “Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update.” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 2881. World Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  46. Pullum, T. and A. Peri. 1999. “A Multivariate Analysis of Homogamy in Montevideo, Uruguay.” Population Studies 53: 361–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Qian, Z. 1998. “Changes in Assortative Mating: The Impact of Age and Education, 1970–1990.” Demography 35: 279–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Qian, Z. and S. Preston. 1993. “Changes in American Marriage, 1972 to 1987: Availability and Forces of Attraction by Age and Education.” American Sociological Review 58: 482–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Raftery, A. 1995. “Bayesian Model Selection in Social Research.” Sociological Methodology 25: 111–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Saez, E. 2005. “Top Incomes in the United States and Canada Over the Twentieth Century.” Journal of the European Economic Association (2–3):402–11.Google Scholar
  51. Schoen, R. and R. Winick. 1993. “Partner Choice in Marriages and Cohabitations.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55: 408–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schwartz, C. 2010. “Earnings Inequality and the Changing Association Between Spouses’ Earnings.” American Journal of Sociology 115: 1524–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schwartz, C. and R. Mare. 2005. “Trends in Educational Assortative Mating From 1940 to 2003.” Demography 42: 621–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Silva, N. 2003. “Duas Décadas de Seletividade Marital Educacional no Brasil” [Two decades of educational assortative mating in Brazil]. Chapter 9 in Origens e Destinos, edited by C. Hasenbalg and N. Silva. Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks.Google Scholar
  55. Solis, P., T. Pullum, and J. Bratter. 2007. “Homogamy by Education and Migration Status in Monterrey, Mexico: Changes and Continuities Over Time.” Population Research Policy Review 26: 279–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sweeney, M. and M. Cancian. 2004. “The Changing Importance of White Women’s Economic Prospects for Assortative Mating.” Journal of Marriage and Family 66: 1015–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Smits, J., W. Ultee, and J. Lammers. 1998. “Educational Homogamy in 65 Countries: An Explanation of Differences in Openness Using Country-Level Explanatory Variables.” American Sociological Review 63: 264–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Szekely, M. and M. Hilgert. 1999. “What’s Behind the Inequality We Measure? An Investigation Using Latin American Data.” IDB Working Paper No. 409. Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  59. Thornton, A., W. Axinn, and J. Teachman. 1995. “The Influence of School Enrollment and Accumulation on Cohabitation and Marriage in Early Adulthood.” American Sociological Review 60: 672–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Ultee, W. and R. Luijkx. 1990. “Educational Heterogamy and Father-To-Son Occupational Mobility in 23 Industrial Nations: General Societal Openness or Compensatory Strategies of Reproduction?” European Sociological Review 6: 125–49.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyNew York UniversityNew York

Personalised recommendations