How Does Assortative Mating Impact Inter-Generational Education Mobility? A Two-Sided Matching Model

Jingying He, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Intergenerational education mobility estimation can be inconsistent due to potential endogeneity. In this paper, I investigate the question of whether endogeneity is due to effects of parents’ assortative mating on unobserved mutually determined factors that affect their children’s educational attainment. This study develops a structural model based on a two-sided matching model to identify the underlying pattern of assortative mating and to filter out any bias caused by such endogeneity. I show that 1) In Chinese marriage market, the assortative matching is asymmetric and does cause an endogeneity problem;a woman considers a man’s education level, hukou status and other unobserved qualities that are correlated with child’s education, while a man considers unobserved qualities of women that are not correlated with child’s education; 2) causal relationship of parents’ education, leadership and hukou on child’s education do exist, and the coefficients of father’s characteristics are greater than mother’s.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households