Educational Assortative Mating and Inequality in Israel

Efrat Herzberg Druker, Tel Aviv University
Haya Stier, Tel Aviv University

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact changes in family patterns have on the rise in income inequality. Our study focuses on changes in women's labor force participation, and changes in educational homogamy, during the last decades and their relations to the rise in income inequality across Israeli households. Income inequality rose dramatically in Israel and concurrently, women improved their educational attainment and labor force participation, similar to what is found in other industrialized countries. Using data from the Israeli census of 1983 and 2008, we present a decomposition of the Theil Index in order to explore the relative "contribution" of the increase in women's labor force participation and changes in assortative mating. Our preliminary results indicate that educational assortative mating alone cannot explain the increase in inequality and should be, therefore, studied with the work patterns of women in households with different levels of spouses' education.

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Presented in Session 181: Family Structure, Homogamy, and Economic Inequality