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IFF-HSG Working Papers – No. 2022-11

This paper examines the distributional consequences of marital decisions on family wealth and potential inheritances. We use a large administrative dataset from Switzerland that contains detailed wealth information and enables us to identify spouses and their parents. We find that marital sorting is particularly pronounced at the tails of the wealth distribution. However, the financial similarity of couples’ parents is much smaller. The distributional effect on parental wealth is only half the size. We identify intergenerational social mobility as the mechanism behind this attenuation over generations. Consequently, chances of making a “goodmatch” depend much more on one’s own wealth than on potential inheritances.

Autor: Manuela Leuenberger

Datum: 17. Januar 2022