Educational expansion and educational homogamy among the highly educated in Sweden
preprintposted on 19.03.2021, 16:33 by Margarita Chudnovskaya
Post-secondary education has expanded dramatically around the world during the last sixty years. In Sweden, tertiary educational attainment tripled for women and doubled for men between the 1950 and 1980 cohorts. The expansion of higher education has been accompanied by increasing horizontal stratification within the highly educated group, as education leads individuals to different social and economic positions. This study contributes to our understanding of this stratification by examining differences in educational homogamy among the highly educated. I study men and women born in 1940, 1950, 1960, and 1970 and show how differences within the highly educated group based on previous experiences (measured by social class of origin), educational experience (measured by length of degree in years, and by traditional/newer university status), and socio-economic outcomes (measured by income and occupational prestige) are related to differences in the likelihood of educational homogamy. Women with longer degrees, higher class origin and higher income and occupational prestige are much more likely to enter homogamous unions. For men, few status markers are associated with homogamy outcomes over time, with the exception of degree length which has a strong positive association. Additionally, I examine whether educational expansion, and the emergence of a female-dominant gender imbalance in higher education, has led to a strengthening of the relationship between status covariates and homogamy across cohorts. I find no interaction effects between cohorts and status for women, and some interactions, particularly in degree length and income, for men.