Educational Homogamy and Income Differentiation across Europe
Mieke C. W. Eeckhaut, University of California, Los Angeles
Maria A. Stanfors, Lund University
This research examines variation across contemporary Europe in the disequalizing effect of educational homogamy, using data from the 2004-08 EU-SILC. We test the theoretical expectation of a positive association across countries between the strength of the link between education and partners' individual earnings, and the potential contribution of educational homogamy to educational differentials in family income. First, we confirm the existence of a strong link between education and earnings in Eastern Europe, and a somewhat weaker association in Anglo-Saxon, Continental and, especially, in Northern Europe. Next, we find that regional variation in the strength of the link between education and earnings is positively associated with regional variation in the potential contribution of educational homogamy to family income inequality across Europe. We relate these regional patterns to the general characteristics of welfare state regime types, focusing mainly on the degree of social stratification and the level of gender equality.