NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Marriage and Income Inequality”


Mary:  I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at marriage and income inequality.  Mike, one of the big issues of our day is income inequality, which refers to the widening gap between workers with high pay and others with low pay.  I understand that one of the factors explaining increasing income inequality may marriage.  How so?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. the issue is who people marry
  2. for several decades researchers have noticed that individuals tend to marry

people with similar educational training

  1. so, high school graduates marry other high school graduates, and college

grads marry other college grads

  1. this impact income inequality because much of the background of income

inequality is based on education – fact that the pay of college grads is both

higher and rising faster than the pay of high school grad or dropouts

  1. and new research suggests this matching of mates with similar education is

actually increasing – thereby widening the already wide income gap

  1. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension