Educational assortative mating and household division of labor: a Pan-European perspective

Martin Dribe, Lund University
Maria A. Stanfors, Lund University

Educational homogamy has been increasing for a long time in the Western world but there has been much more research on describing and explaining this trend than actually looking at its consequences. Economic theory predicts that educational heterogamy is related to division of labor in accordance with comparative advantages in household and market production, but there has been few tests of this hypothesis in the light of the changes in educational homogamy. The aim of this paper is to study the importance of educational assortative mating in determining the division of labor in the family. First we make a detailed analysis of Sweden 1990-2000 using time diary data, and then we look at the same issues from a comparative perspective using survey data for a number of countries in Europe. Preliminary results indicate an association between assortative mating and the division of labor, but only for couples with children.

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Presented in Session 10: Life course and education