Assortative Mating in Remarriage: Homogamy and Tradeoffs in Second Marriages by Age and Education

Kevin Shafer, Ohio State University

Assortative mating has important implications for social stratification and the outcomes of individual marriages. Yet, as remarriage has become commonplace, little empirical evidence of how marital sorting takes place in remarriage exists. Previous research has indicated that martial heterogamy is more likely in second marriages, both by age and educational, but these studies are limited in scope and has failed to consider multiple characteristics in assortative mating. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979(NLSY79), I look at the likelihood of age and educational homogamy in second marriages among the divorced. Specifically, I focus on assortative mating in remarriage by age and education, the likelihood of entering a homogamous union, and potential age-education tradeoffs in remarriage, which may lead to higher rates of heterogamy on one or both of these characteristics. Preferences on one characteristic may lead to a mismatch on another and gender differences in these patterns are considered.

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Presented in Poster Session 1