The secret to the relationship between inequality and the family therefore lies in its effects on the status of men. Men occupy the very top of the economy, and those who sit there are eager to marry from a smaller group of similarly successful and well-educated women. Men are also disproportionately at the bottom and here they are effectively unmarriageable. This leaves a large group of women in the middle, with fewer comparable mates. Inequality makes these divisions starker than they were in other eras and it creates cultural divisions that reinforce each other. In short, equality has remade marriage markets, making matrimony very attractive for some and a really bad deal for others.
Fascinating article featured here because of its market approach to marriage.