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What Is America's Inequitable Economy Doing to Romantic Relationships?

Gregory Jordan (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Gregory Jordan (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Researchers are discovering some disturbing patterns between money and love these days. The rich, they’ve found, are getting wealthier by marrying other people in their income bracket, while the poor are getting poorer by doing the same. And the inequality created by this economy is wreaking havoc on love. AlterNet’s suggestion to finding romance then? Get out of America.

AlterNet via Salon:

…philosophers no longer have a corner on the love-and-inequality connection. All sorts of social scientists are now working that intersection where wealth and romance meet — and they’re uncovering an assortment of troubling trends.

Researchers are finding, for instance, that Cupid’s arrows fall less randomly than they did back in the middle of the 20th century. Americans today have become distinctly less likely to marry someone outside their income bracket.

Social scientists have a label for this phenomenon. They call it “assortative mating.” Since 1960, shows new research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Jeremy Greenwood and colleagues, this assortative mating has contributed significantly to how unequal we’ve become….

But the case and effect here goes both ways. Assortative mating widens the income gaps that divide us. Wider income gaps nurture assortative mating.

Read more

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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