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Male doctors in the 1960s married nurses because there were few female doctors. Yet assortative mating (the tendency of similar people to marry each other) aggravates inequality between households—two married lawyers are much richer than a single mother who stacks shelves.A new study* of hundreds of thousands of couples investigates the link.
We use microsimulation methods to illustrate this dynamic process, using first the conventional deterministic Gale–Shapley model, then a probabilistic Gale–Shapley model, and then two versions of the encounter mating model.
In the existing literature in both sociology and economics, this phenomenon has mainly been attributed to individuals’ conscious preferences for assortative mating.