What kinds of movie stars marry each other?

by on January 6, 2012 at 11:16 am in Education, Film | Permalink

From Gustaf Bruze:

Marital sorting on education is an important but poorly understood source of inequality. This paper analyzes a group of men and women who do not meet their spouses in school, are not sorted by education in the workplace, and whose earnings are not correlated with their years of education. Nevertheless, movie actors marry spouses with an education similar to their own. These findings suggest that male and female preferences alone induce considerable sorting on education in marriage and that men and women have very strong preferences for nonfinancial partner traits correlated with years of education.

Hat tip goes to Steve Sailer.  And here is another paper by Bruze:

US middle aged men and women are earning in the order of 30 percent of their return to schooling through improved marital outcomes.

1 Gepap January 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

Educational sorting makes sense, as people with similar levels of education probably have a greater likelyhood of having common interests, common vocabularies, common expectations of behavior and so forth, the things that allow one to communicate with someone else.

What would someone with a graduate degree with a professional job have to speak with someone with just a high school degree that went into say, the trades business, even if we assume that they were making similar incomes as individuals (which would be possible in this scenerio)? Their life expriences and expectations would probably be too divergent.

2 Norman Pfyster January 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

As a multiple-degree-holding professional, I manage to talk with trade people just fine. We talk about the weather, sports, food, events around the world, tv shows, spouses, kids, work… you know, life.

3 JWatts January 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Yes, but did you marry one.

4 Gepap January 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm

A brief conversation is one thing – having to live with the person, possibly raising a child with them is something different.

5 James b. January 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

How about those Knicks?

6 Paul Rain January 7, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Really? Don’t everyone’s thoughts shift to sports in the wee small hours?

7 Sandeep January 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I find this guy’s use of English weird and hard to follow. It would have been much more reader-friendly if he explicitly said that the “group of men and women” referred to in the second sentence of the first abstract were movie stars. Rather, he wants us to infer that by assuming that his use of the word “Nevertheless” must have a purpose. I still don’t understand the second quote. What does he mean by “earning” a “return to schooling”?

8 Rahul January 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I’ve a pedantic query relating to the data-analysis: If the data is not linear can one still use the (Pearson) correlation coefficient? The plotted dataset doesn’t look very linear.

9 Sandeep January 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I don’t know. You should ask someone who knows economics/statistics.

10 GiT January 6, 2012 at 11:48 pm

‘Can use’ for what? My knowledge is sophomoric on this stuff, but I’m pretty sure as long as there’s variance in ‘y’ you ‘can use’ the coefficient. It may not be the best thing to use, and a variety of other tests can tell you that (including your eyes), but it will still tell you something. Often it will tell you things the eyes don’t see.

11 John Thacker January 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I’m pretty sure that what he means is that roughly 30% of financial benefits of extra schooling (for middle aged US men and women) is in improved marriage prospects.

12 Sandeep January 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm


13 Marked to Market January 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

“US middle aged men and women are earning in the order of 30 percent of their return to schooling through improved marital outcomes.”

Does anyone know what the measure is for returns to marriage? The link suggests that the measured benefit is financial. I would be curious to know whether or not it varies by gender if you include divorce, mostly because divorce is often very expensive for the higher income or moneyed spouse. Men have tended to be the higher income partners historically. Given the probability of divorce, I could imagine divorce reduces likely lifetime disposable income (or income they actually receive if you ignore alimony, or some other appropriate outcome variable) for some men. Anyone know of any research on this topic?

14 Anthony January 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

A man who marries a woman with a college degree and a career which depends on that college degree will probably end up paying less in spousal and child support if they get divorced than a man who marries a woman with a high-school education, because both of those are conditioned on the ex-wife’s income.

15 Jay January 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Yet the FemiNazis will deny any culpability for the growth of income inequality.

16 Miley Cyrax January 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

The only narrative for inequality the left will approve of consists of evil greedy white males and Asian males being unfair to everyone else by workong too hard.

17 CBBB January 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm


18 mrpinto January 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

What’s yours? Beyond blaming Tyler for his complicity in the conspiracy to defend The System, I mean.

19 CBBB January 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I’ve never heard anyone argue inequality is caused by one group WORKING TOO HARD. That a tiny fraction of the population has been working really hard but everyone else is slacking – that’s supposed to be an explanation?

20 John Thacker January 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm

But it is my impression that a greater percentage of people who make a money these days work very hard compared to in Victorian and earlier times, where it was more about rents and inheritances.

21 CBBB January 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm

A lot of people work hard, this does not explain inequality – and it doesn’t explain why such a large share of the income growth goes to such a tiny, tiny fraction of the population. Educational attainment and sorted matching also doesn’t explain this.

22 The Anonymouse January 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Much like the use of the term “sheeple,” use of “FemiNazi” tells me a lot more about the commenter than the rest of the comment usually does.

23 Rahul January 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Interestingly the Male/Female relative education differential across the dataset is close to zero. Overall the total years of education of both sexes are substantially identical.

24 tony January 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Interesting sure, but the same study was was already written up everywhere almost a year ago, e.g. in Time mag: http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/29/lessons-from-hollywood-why-we-marry-people-with-similar-education/

25 Andrew' January 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

The nice thing about doing this study with celebrities is you can wait a year and call them back and get new data points.

26 msgkings January 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Zing! Nice.

27 Urso January 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I enjoy Andrew prime’s little witticisms. He would have done well at Oscar Wilde’s salon.

28 msgkings January 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Are you calling Andrew’ gay? Kidding…

Actually today Oscar Wilde would surely have one of the largest Twitter followings. That medium seems perfect for his quips.

29 Andrew' January 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I’m just flamboyant.

30 Miley Cyrax January 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Any discussion that involves wealth inequality and social mobility has to start with assortative mating, but people would rather plug their ears and shriek rather than consider that life outcomes could depend on inherited intelligence. Education is just a proxy for intelligence.

Geoffrey Miller has speculated that a purpose for female intelligence is to screen for male intelligence, e.g. why women are abysmal at telling jokes but understand them just fine.

31 TomK January 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Education is more a proxy for family wealth than intelligence, by any reasonable measure. I’ve met enough dumb Ivy Leaguers over the years to make that clear.

32 CBBB January 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

And these days education is becoming more and more about being good at jumping through the hoops

33 msgkings January 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

When was it not?

34 Bill January 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Agree with that. Particularly if dad went first and the kid came in after him.

35 John Thacker January 6, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Well, the Ivy League did become substantially more meritocratic after the ’50s and ’60s. So it makes a difference in the age of people you meet. Of course, there are still legacies.

Some of the admitted legacies can be less arrogant than the people who feel that it’s all due to their own hard work and intelligence.

36 CBBB January 7, 2012 at 12:29 pm

“Some of the admitted legacies can be less arrogant than the people who feel that it’s all due to their own hard work and intelligence.”

This is a good reason why meritocracy isn’t necessarily better then the alternative for most people

37 Urso January 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

One of the primary benefits of college is the social experience, not the least of which involves finding a spouse. A point which is quite missed by those who are so down on higher education these days. And by those who think online colleges are the next big thing.

38 Jim January 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

>One of the primary benefits of college is the social experience

Ah, yes. A $35,000 per year “social experience.”

I guess that’s why after they get their degree, they go urban camping with each other and demand that others pay their debt. It’s all very social.

39 Andrew Edwards January 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

That’s a lot of resentment piled in to one comment

40 Urso January 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm

So a rough translation of this would be “you kids today argle bargle get off my lawn.”

41 CBBB January 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

David Brooks?

42 Paul Rain January 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Damn straight. That collection of words made more sense than anything out of an ‘x’nic-studies department when it was hard-hats cracking heads for Nixon, and it still makes more sense now.

43 CH January 6, 2012 at 6:58 pm

game is so much cheaper.

44 superdestroyer January 7, 2012 at 5:14 am

The average tier-I college educated male gets married near the age of 30. Do you really think that college and professional school educated males meet their future spouses while an undergraduate? These days very few high earners marry someone they meet as an undergraduate. It is more likely they marry someone they meet at work or in progressional/graduate school.

45 doctorpat January 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Of all the married people I know from university, only one couple met while undergraduates. Though two other couples did meet while the woman was an undergraduate, the man was by that point in the workforce, and doing postgrad part time while working. Hence they met because of the university, so those cases probably count too.

46 CBBB January 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

US middle aged men and women are earning in the order of 30 percent of their return to schooling through improved marital outcomes.

What a shitty way to get your payout

47 John Thacker January 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Though, I think, a common enough one throughout history. Especially for women back in the day.

48 Alan January 6, 2012 at 2:34 pm

One of the benefits of education is that it equips one to distinguish things that are worth thinking and talking about from things that are not.

49 JWatts January 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Yes, but is the affect positive or negative.

50 Newman January 6, 2012 at 3:27 pm

As someone who works in Hollywood, movie actors are about the last group of people I’d pick to study in order to extrapolate conclusions that would apply to the general population. For those in the spot light, relative success, ie. marrying someone with comparable star power, appears to be the biggest consideration.

51 Andrew Edwards January 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

If you RTFA you’ll see this factor is controlled for in the study.

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