The Interrelation between Educational Homogamy and Racial Endogamy in Marriage Markets: A Search Model

P. C. Roger Cheng, National Central University, Taiwan

It has been widely acknowledged that educational homogamy and racial endogamy are two prevailing phenomena in the marriage market. However, facts regarding the interrelation between forces that obscure intermarriage between educational or racial groups are rarely noticed and mentioned. Current Population Survey data from 1964 to 2009 indicate that, in a structure of the marriage market consisting of both blacks and whites, the barrier to intermarriage across the education groups of whites persists while that of blacks disappears. In addition, at least in the past three decades, the proportion of those who have never been married among people aged 40 to 49 is getting higher for blacks relative to whites, especially for those without a college diploma. This paper adopts a search model in the presence of racial prejudice to provide a comprehensive explanation of these empirical observations. In addition, I will propose a corresponding empirical model to measure the strength of educational and racial barriers.

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Presented in Poster Session 5