Is the end of educational hypergamy the end of hypergamy? Evidence from Sweden.
Over the last decades, women have outperformed men in higher education. Following this trend, women have also increasingly “partnered down” in terms of education. In this paper, we ask whether this trend for women’s educational hypogamy (“partnering down”) corresponds to other forms of status hypogamy, and whether the increasing prevalence of educationally hypogamous unions has accounted for changes in the status of women relative to their male partners across cohorts. We use Swedish register data and analyze childbearing unions of post-secondary educated men and women born in 1950-2, 1960-2, 1970-2, and 1980-2. We measure relative status within unions according to social class background, income, and occupational prestige. Female hypogamous unions are only somewhat more female status-dominant than other unions. We also find that the status of women relative to their male partners over time has been generally stable in terms of the different status indicators measured, despite increasing female hypogamy. We also compare absolute status of men and women in different union types, and find that men and women in unions where both partners are highly educated tend to have higher status than men and women in other unions, with the exception of occupational prestige.