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Coupling couples with copulas: analysis of assortative matching on risk attitude

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Abstract

We investigate patterns of assortative matching on risk attitude, using self‐reported (ordinal) data on risk attitudes for males and females within married couples, from the German Socio‐Economic Panel over the period 2004–2012. We apply a novel copula‐based bivariate panel ordinal model. Estimation is in two steps: first, a copula‐based Markov model is used to relate the marginal distribution of the response in different time periods, separately for males and females; second, another copula is used to couple the males' and females' conditional (on the past) distributions. We find positive dependence, both in the middle of the distribution, and in the joint tails, and we interpret this as positive assortative matching (PAM). Hence we reject standard assortative matching theories based on risk‐sharing assumptions, and favor models based on alternative assumptions such as the ability of agents to control income risk. We also find evidence of “assimilation”; that is, PAM appearing to increase with years of marriage. (JEL C33, C51, D81)

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-666
JournalEconomic Inquiry
Volume57
Issue number1
Early online date28 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Peer-reviewedYes

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