Is the end of educational hypergamy the end of status hypergamy? evidence from sweden

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Abstract

The reversal of the gender gap in higher education has been a major social transformation: women now outnumber men in higher education in nearly all OECD countries. Patterns of assortative mating have also changed as highly educated women increasingly form relationships with men who have less education (hypogamous unions). In this article, we draw on rich register data from Sweden to ask whether the emergence of hypogamous unions signals the emergence of a new female status dominance in unions. We also consider how the status distribution in these unions compares to homogamous (both highly educated) or hypergamous (he highly educated) unions. We use Swedish register data and study couples who have their first child together. We refer to a multi-dimensional view of status and use indicators of social class background, income, and occupational prestige. We find that in hypogamous unions, women tend to have a higher social class background and occupational prestige, but lower income than their partners. The income gap between partners is not simply a consequence of the gender wage gap, but driven by selection into different union types. Men and women who form hypogamous unions are negatively selected in terms of their income.

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Chudnovskaya, M., & Kashyap, R. (2020). Is the end of educational hypergamy the end of status hypergamy? evidence from sweden. European Sociological Review, 36(3), 351–365. https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcz065

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