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Assortative Matching and Search

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Author Info

  • Robert Shimer
  • Lones Smith

Abstract

In Becker's (1973) neoclassical marriage market model, matching is positively assortative if types are complements: i.e. match output is supermodular. We reprise this famous result assuming time-intensive partner search and transferable output. We prove existence of a search equilibrium with a continuum of types, and then characterize matching. After showing that Becker's conditions no longer suffice for assortative matching, we find sufficient conditions valid for any search frictions and type distribution: supermodularity not only of match output, but also of its marginal product and cross partial derivative. Symmetric submodularity conditions imply negatively assortative matching. Examples show these conditions are necessary.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 68 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 343-370

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:68:y:2000:i:2:p:343-370

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