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Assortative Matching and Search

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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:68:y:2000:i:2:p:343-370
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    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling

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