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Matching and Sorting in Online Dating

Author

Listed:
  • Gunter J. Hitsch
  • Ali Hortaçsu
  • Dan Ariely

Abstract

Using data on user attributes and interactions from an online dating site, we estimate mate preferences, and use the Gale-Shapley algorithm to predict stable matches. The predicted matches are similar to the actual matches achieved by the dating site, and the actual matches are approximately efficient. Out-of- sample predictions of offline matches, i.e., marriages, exhibit assortative mating patterns similar to those observed in actual marriages. Thus, mate preferences, without resort to search frictions, can generate sorting in marriages. However, we underpredict some of the correlation patterns; search frictions may play a role in explaining the discrepancy. (JEL C78, J12)

Suggested Citation

  • Gunter J. Hitsch & Ali Hortaçsu & Dan Ariely, 2010. "Matching and Sorting in Online Dating," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 130-163, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:1:p:130-63
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.1.130
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar2010/20080317_data.zip
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guillaume R. Fréchette & Alvin E. Roth & M. Utku Ünver, 2007. "Unraveling yields inefficient matchings: evidence from post-season college football bowls," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(4), pages 967-982, December.
    2. Adachi, Hiroyuki, 2003. "A search model of two-sided matching under nontransferable utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 182-198, December.
    3. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2001. "Unraveling Reduces the Scope of an Entry Level Labor Market: Gastroenterology With and Without a Centralized Match," NBER Working Papers 8616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2003. "Unraveling Reduces Mobility in a Labor Market: Gastroenterology with and without a Centralized Match," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1342-1352, December.
    5. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
    6. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    7. Raymond Fisman & Sheena S. Iyengar & Emir Kamenica & Itamar Simonson, 2006. "Gender Differences in Mate Selection: Evidence From a Speed Dating Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 673-697.
    8. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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