Power couples are perpetuating income inequality, explains New York Times staffer Tyler Cowen. In modern match making, assortative mating, or the pairing of like with like, has become an increasing phenomenon that couples the prosperous with the prestigious, and may in fact be the most significant and hardest to counter cause behind income inequality in the U.S.
There are both pros and cons to this kind of coupling. Cowen writes:
Money and talent become clustered in high-powered, two-earner families determined to do everything possible to advance the interests of their children. There is some long-term benefit for society, since many innovators and business creators will receive their initial boosts early in their lives, including the very best training in childhood, and that may enhance their eventual productivity.
But there are also serious economic costs. As it becomes harder for many people to “marry up” as a path for income mobility for themselves or their children, families that are not well connected may feel disengaged, and the significant, family-based advantages for some children may discourage others from even trying.