Educational assortative mating and divorce

Gwendolin Blossfeld, University of Oxford

In this paper, we investigate the impact of educational assortative mating on divorce by using new life course data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). Based on a new theoretical model, we show that there are not only benefits from division of work but also benefits from communication within married couples. The empirical results show that the combined gains and losses of division of work and communication are different for educationally married up, homogamous or down women. Women’s upward marriages are the most stable ones, with homogamous marriages ranking second, followed by the least stable marriages, those where women married educationally down. Our analysis also demonstrates that there is no “success” penalty in terms of a higher divorce rate for highly educated married down women.

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Presented in Session 65: Assortative mating, marriage and divorce

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