Past Trends and Future Scenarios in Educational Assortative Mating: An Agent-Based Modelling Approach

André Grow, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

An increasing number of scholars argue that the reversal of gender inequality in education that has taken place in most Western countries will have important consequences for patterns of educational assortative mating and ensuing family formation. However, the potential complexity and non-linearity of the relation between shifts in relative educational attainment of men and women and patterns of assortative mating makes it difficult to develop hypotheses about precisely how assortative mating will change. In this paper, we address this problem by developing an agent-based computational marriage market model. We apply this model to a set of European countries and use it to assess the theoretical implications of plausible scenarios of future developments in the relative educational attainment of men and women.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households