Saturday, December 31, 2011

Marriage markets in transition

There was a time when the generalization that husbands tended to be older, taller, more educated and higher earning than their wives covered more of the marriage market than it does today, as the educational and earnings attainments of women are rising, along with ages of first marriage. There's some academic work on this, and also discussion in the press, of which this is an example:
They Call It the Reverse Gender Gap

"The emergence of this cohort of high-earning young women and the increasing number of female breadwinners are transforming gender relationships, upending patterns of matchmaking, marriage and motherhood, creating a new conflict between the sexes, redefining the word “breadwinner” and inspiring tracts on the leveling of men’s roles.
“Some of these women had learned the hard way that when they went to bars, they were better off lying about what they did — saying that they were a cosmetologist or music teacher rather than a software consultant or lawyer,” Ms. Mundy said.

"Faced with a shrinking pool of men on their level, some young women are settling and marrying “down,” but others will jump on planes for “dating excursions” to cities like New York, San Francisco and Boston where the male market is more promising.
"This state of affairs is not confined to the United States. The trend is global. Japanese and South Korean men are importing brides from poorer Asian countries with traditional attitudes about marriage. In Spain, Ms. Mundy said, she found high-achieving women marrying men from progressive Northern European countries like Sweden, while Spanish men seek out immigrant wives from more conventional Spanish-speaking countries."

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