Sorting in labor- and marriage markets

Project leader

Funding source

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
Funding: 3756000 SEK


This project will describe and analyze changes in the distribution of human capital between families and firms. This is possible as we have measures of cognitive and non-cognitive abilities from the military draft that are comparable over time, a major improvement to previous research. We have also developed methods to predict female abilities using ability evaluations of their brothers.

Part I analyzes ability sorting in the marriage market. Technological development, family policies and reduced discrimination have jointly contributed to reducing the value of household specialization. Plausibly, families are therefore formed by individuals with more similar abilities than before. This would widen the income distribution among current families and - as abilities are transmitted from parent to child - among future generations. We will document if spouses have indeed become more similar and analyze how changes in educational and family policies have influenced these developments.

Part II analyzes the distribution of human capital between firms and industries. Over the last 20 years, the wage spread between firms has widened but it is unclear to what extent this is due to an increased concentration of human capital to certain firms. We will describe changes in the distribution of human capital between firms and its impact on the wage distribution. Further, we will analyze the effect of increased competition, globalization, IT, and organizational changes on these developments.

Last updated on 2017-29-03 at 17:13