Abstract

Marriage has declined since 1960, with the drop being bigger for non-college educated individuals versus college educated ones. Divorce has increased, more so for the non-college educated. Additionally, positive assortative mating has risen. Income inequality among households has also widened. A unified model of marriage, divorce, educational attainment and married female labor-force participation is developed and estimated to fit the postwar U.S. data. Two underlying driving forces are considered: technological progress in the household sector and shifts in the wage structure. The analysis emphasizes the joint role that educational attainment, married female labor-force participation, and assortative mating play in determining income inequality.