Johan Almenberg () and Anna Dreber ()
Johan Almenberg: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Anna Dreber: Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: We examine a hitherto unexplored 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. We propose a two-trait extension of the optimal sorting model in Becker (1973). Using data on Swedish marriages we test the hypothesis that nobility have a greater probability of marrying up in terms of wealth. Our main finding is a sizeable and statistically significant positive effect for nobility. We use unique data on the evolution of nobility to make some predictions about the longevity of this institution.
28 pages, First version: January 15, 2008. Revised: July 10, 2008.
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