Homogamy among dating cohabiting and married couples largest online dating community
We summarise the extent of FSH across the entire matching market using the ratio of the actual share of homogamous matches to the share of homogamous matches one would expect under the random matching assumption.
We find that in the EU-wide sample, a randomly picked couple is almost twice as likely to be homogamous than would be predicted from matched marginals under random matching.
While the educational-level homogamy of college graduates has been well documented, the question as to whether they also match based on their field of study has so far received little attention.
If college graduates tend to match into couples within their field of study, the large differences across these fields in both earnings and in the availability of family-friendly careers could lead to sizeable consequences for household inequality and family formation.
Interestingly, the extent of FSH is almost identical among married and cohabitating couples.
However, the ‘marginal-free’ degree of positive assortative matching varies dramatically across pairs of fields of study.
Such consequences have been extensively explored for the case of educational-level homogamy (Fernández et al 2005, Schwartz 2013, Greenwood et al 2014, Goldin 1997, Chiappori et al 2009).
In a recent paper, we document the extent of field-of-study homogamy (FSH) using the 2014 release of the EU Labour Force Survey (LFS), which provides information on college graduates and their marriage/cohabitation status in 24 EU countries (Bičáková and Jurajda 2016).
All of the odds ratios we measure for pair-wise field-of-study comparisons for couples formed by two college graduates are higher based on our data than the odds ratio corresponding to the (much explored) educational-level homogamy – that is, to matching on having a college degree or not.
On the other hand, women, who form about 20% of all engineering graduates in our data, face an abundant supply of male peers (i.e. It is therefore not surprising that among the ‘college-college’ couples involving a female college graduates in engineering, 60% are homogamous.
For comparison, in services, the most gender-balanced field of study, the corresponding share is only 22%.
These ‘college-college’ pairs represent about 80% of all couples formed by at least one college graduate.
We classify a couple to be homogamous when both partners graduated from the same broad field of study – education, humanities, the social sciences, science, engineering, agriculture, health, or services.
We find that the gradient of FSH in terms of years since graduation is both more rapid and reaches higher levels for the same-industry group.