Educational Homogamy and Inequality in France

Saturday, June 25, 2016: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
206 Dwinelle (Dwinelle Hall)
Pierre Courtioux, EDHEC Business School, Paris, France
Vincent Lignon, CNAF, Paris, France; Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne, Paris, France
Following recent economic literature on the subject, the article estimates the impact of assortative mating and more particularly of educational homogamy on inequality measured by the Gini index of equivalized income.

From a methodological point of view, the article argues that the so-called 'imputation method' used in standard economics articles to control for change in labour supply within the couple meets a lack of time consistency considering the family formation. We propose an alternative method based on dynamic microsimulation taking explicitly into account the timing of family formation.

The results show that for the French case, this impact is clearly smaller than the impact reported by Greenwood et al. [2014] in the AER for the US case.The results also show that an education variable has to be detailed enough in order to avoid an under-estimation of educational homogamy. Depending on the method used the impact of assortative mating on inequality range from 0.8 to 2.5%, i.e. a much lower level than the French tax and benefit system which decreases inequality by almost 16%.