No decline in assortative mating for educational level

A. C. Heath, K. Berg, L. J. Eaves, M. H. Solaas, J. Sundet, W. E. Nance, L. A. Corey, P. Magnus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Education data from the Norwegian twin panel reveal no decline in the marital correlation for educational attainment for the past 35 years. Comparable marital correlations are found for British and American samples. A higher marital correlation is obtained for the parents of the Norwegian twins and the parents of their spouses, but this is an artifact. A twin's recall of his/her parents' educational levels is shown, by model fitting, to be biased by his/her own education level. Allowing for this bias reduces our estimate of the parental marital correlation and reduces estimates of the broad heritability of educational attainment from 74-81 to 49-58%. Other, unrelated factors may also be biasing estimates of the similarity of their parents' educational levels by the twins and their spouses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-369
Number of pages21
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1985


  • assortative mating
  • education
  • no secular changes


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