Age homogamy and gender-specific earnings: Sweden 1990-2009

Paul Nystedt, Linkoping University
Martin Dribe, Lund University

Previous research has shown considerable marriage premiums in earnings for men, but often penalties for women of being in a union. In this study we extend this research by analyzing how the age difference between spouses affects the earnings profiles of men and women. As we follow people over time in advance as well as within their marriage we are able to separate pre- from post-marital earnings movements. The studied core sample consists of information on annual earnings 1990-2009 for all Swedes born 1960-74. There is prominent sorting into marriage according to age, high earning men and women marrying a spouse of the same age. For men, this process is enforced within marriage insofar as the earnings profile is steeper the lesser the age gap. For women, the earnings development within marriage seems to be totally unrelated to the spousal age gap.

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Presented in Session 70: Assortative mating: Trends, causes, and consequences