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An empirical examination of matching theories: The one child policy, partner choice and matching intensity in urban China

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  • Anderson, Gordon
  • Leo, Teng Wah

Abstract

This paper introduces an index that facilitates the testing of differing matching theories based on the degree of overlap between a theoretically generated matching joint density and its empirical counterpart. The index is asymptotically Normal, consequently permitting inference. To demonstrate its use, the paper examines the effect the One Child Policy had on matching patterns in the marriage market in China. To distinguish between confounding policies of the period, a static general equilibrium model is introduced. It predicts that constraining marital output in the child quantity dimension may raise the marginal benefit of positive assortative matching and investment in child quality, thereby increasing the intensity with which they are pursued and concomitantly reducing the marriage rate. Upon verifying that the policy was binding via a Poisson model, using the matching index, significant support for increases in positive assortative matching and reductions in negative assortative matching were found.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Gordon & Leo, Teng Wah, 2013. "An empirical examination of matching theories: The one child policy, partner choice and matching intensity in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 468-489.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:2:p:468-489
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2012.12.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gordon Anderson & Tongtong Hao & Maria Grazia Pittau, 2016. "Income Inequality, Family Formation and Generational Mobility in Urban China," Working Papers tecipa-563, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    2. Gordon Anderson & Alessio Farcomeni & Grazia Pittau & Roberto Zelli, 2014. "A new approach to measuring and studying the characteristics of class membership: The progress of poverty, inequality and polarization of income classes in urban China," Working Papers tecipa-521, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:04:n:s0217590817400252 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Anderson, Gordon & Farcomeni, Alessio & Pittau, Maria Grazia & Zelli, Roberto, 2016. "A new approach to measuring and studying the characteristics of class membership: Examining poverty, inequality and polarization in urban China," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 191(2), pages 348-359.
    5. Zhiming Cheng & Russell Smyth, 2015. "China’s Imbalanced Sex Ratio and Satisfaction with Marital Relationships," Monash Economics Working Papers 22-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overlap measure; Matching; Marriage;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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