Do Birds of the Same Feather Who Flock Together Also Have Better Health? Educational Assortative Mating and Physical Health

Amy Hsin, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY)

Educational assortative mating has long been a subject of widespread general interest among social demographers. This interest is motivated by the fact that patterns of educational assortating mating serve as an indicator of the distance across social class groups and as mechanisms through which socioeconomic inequality are maintained within and across groups. Although the pervasiveness of educational homogamy and trends in educational assortative mating are well documented, there is little empirical research identifying the ways in which assortative mating patterns give rise to social inequality. To address this gap, this paper examines how marital sorting influences the health outcomes (self-rated health and limitations in physical functioning) to assess whether highly educated individuals accrue greater health advantages by marrying a spouse with high levels of education.

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Presented in Session 119: Social Relationships and Later-Life Health