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date: 24 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews theoretical and empirical research related to marital sorting. The choice of marriage partner is a fundamental life decision that directly influences many individual and household outcomes that are central to individual well-being. Marital sorting is assumed to maximize the gains to marriage subject to the costs of marital search. Marital sorting, therefore, depends in part on the source of these gains. Mechanisms generating assortative mating, namely, preferences and search costs, are discussed in the context of sorting based on age, education, and race/ethnicity. The article explores the implication of marital sorting on income inequality and outlines future research avenues.

Keywords: marriage, marital sorting, marital search, assortative mating, age, education, race, ethnicity

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