The Wealth of Parents: Trends over Time in Assortative Mating Based on Parental Wealth

Research output: Working paperResearch

This paper presents trends in parental wealth homogamy across union cohorts formed between 1987 and 2013 in Denmark. Using high-quality register data on the wealth of parents during the year of partnering through cohabitation or marriage, we show that the correlation between partners’ levels of parental wealth is considerably lower compared to estimates from earlier research on other contexts. Nonetheless, parental wealth homogamy is high at the very top of the parental wealth distribution, and individuals from wealthy families are relatively unlikely to partner individuals from families with low wealth. Even though conclusions regarding trends in parental wealth homogamy depend on methodological choices made, most specifications indicate an increase in homogamy in the 2000s as compared to the 1990s. This raises concerns about the consequences of changes in partnering behavior for wealth inequality between households and social boundaries between groups based on parental wealth and particularly between the wealthiest individuals in society and the rest of the population.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2019
SeriesCEBI Working Paper Series

ID: 234214341