Who partners up? Educational Assortative Matching and the Distribution of Income in New Zealand

Omoniyi Alimi
Date Tuesday 19 February 2019
Time 1pm - 2pm
Where KG.06
Presenter Omoniyi Alimi
Contact Francis Collins
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

Part of the 2019 NIDEA Seminar series:

‘Who partners up? Educational Assortative Matching and the Distribution of Income in New Zealand’

Presented by: Omoniyi Alimi 

Educational assortative matching among couples, i.e. the phenomenon whereby the high-educated have partners who are also high-educated, can be a driver of the distribution of income in New Zealand - which has experienced rising inequality, increased educational attainment and a relatively low, and falling, wage premium for higher levels of education.  Using data from the Censuses of Population and Dwellings and a counterfactual randomisation methodology, we find that educational assortative matching has increased and driven by increased matching in the middle of the educational distribution.  Spatially, higher and increasing levels of educational assortative matching is seen in metropolitan areas and has had an inequality-increasing impact on the distribution of income, especially for the full-time employed. Additionally, sorting on observable characteristics such as age and location are also inequality-increasing and sorting on unobservable characteristics that impact on income can play an important role as well.


Omoniyi Alimi recently submitted his PhD, jointly supervised at the National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis and the Department of Economics at the University of Waikato. He is currently a Teaching Fellow in the Waikato Management School. His research focuses on the impact of ageing, migration and assortative matching on income inequality within and between New Zealand urban areas.

For more information about this seminar contact Prof Francis Collins -