Educational Ambition, Marital Sorting, and Inequality

Frederik Almar, Benjamin Friedrich, Ana Reynoso*, Bastian Schulz, Rune Majlund Vejlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paper/Preprint Working paperResearch


This paper revisits the link between education-based marriage market sorting and income inequality. Leveraging Danish administrative data, we develop novel marriage market types based on the starting wages and wage growth trajectories associated with educational programs: educational ambition types. We find a substantial increase in sorting by educational ambition over time, which explains more than 40% of increasing inequality since 1980. In contrast, sorting trends are flat with the commonly-used level of education or field of study. Hence, the mapping between education and marriage market types matters crucially for conclusions about the role of marital sorting in rising income inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 18 Jan 2024


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