Educational Sorting in Mixed Marriages in Switzerland

Gina Potarca 1  and Laura Bernardi 2
  • 1 NCCR LIVES, University of Geneva, CH-1211, Geneva
  • 2 NCCR LIVES, University of Lausanne, CH-1015, Lausanne


According to status-caste exchange theory, intermarriages involve transactions in which higher educated immigrants trade status for the ethnic advantage of the less-educated native partners. Looking at 2 836 currently married Swiss immigrants, we find that the highly skilled “exchange” their status only when pairing with a medium-educated native. Results also show that younger cohorts of immigrants are more likely to choose hypogamy when marrying a same-origin immigrant than when partnering a native.

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