Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 690: Lady and the Trump: Status and Wealth in the Marriage Market

Johan Almenberg () and Anna Dreber ()
Additional contact information
Johan Almenberg: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Anna Dreber: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We examine a relatively neglected aspect of intergenerational transmission of economic standing, namely culturally determined status markers and their valuation in the marriage market. We take nobility to be such a status marker. Using data on Swedish marriages, we test the hypothesis that nobility have a greater probability of marrying "up" in terms of wealth. We find a large and statistically significant positive effect for nobility. This finding has important implications for the intergenerational transmission of inequality, and for the longevity of the institution of nobility itself.

Keywords: Marriage; Status; Intergenerational Transmission; Nobility

JEL-codes: J11; J12

28 pages, First version: January 12, 2008. Revised: December 4, 2008. Earlier revisions: July 10, 2008, July 10, 2008.

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