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Modelling "Marriage Markets": A Population-Scale Implementation and Parameter Test

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Abstract

Choice mechanisms and social networks, including "marriage markets", seem well-suited to be modelled using agent-type simulations. Few real-world empirical examples are available in the public literature, particularly those using human populations of size. We reviewed partnership models in both the micro-simulation and agent-based literatures. We then empirically implemented an algorithm derived from two established models using inter-censal data on first partnerships in New Zealand over the period 1981-2006. The purpose of the exercise was to test the robustness of different parameter settings and to determine whether a model simulating partnership selection among eligible never-married young adults at one census period is feasible for predicting patterns of partnership, co-habitation and marriage at the next. Varying simulation time and social network size parameters of the model showed that patterns of ethnic partnering could be consistently produced and were not dependent on these model settings. Examining the different scoring methods showed that age similarity, education similarity, and previous partnering patterns could produce partnership patterns similar to those seen in the census. The simulation produced patterns of ethnic partnering similar to those seen in the census and seemed robust to different parameter settings. To further improve these results, an optimised combination of the scoring components is proposed. The simulations also provided preliminary evidence of ethnic preferences in the New Zealand marriage market.

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  • Lyndon Walker & Peter Davis, 2013. "Modelling "Marriage Markets": A Population-Scale Implementation and Parameter Test," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 16(1), pages 1-6.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2012-2-3
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    File URL: http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/16/1/6/6.pdf
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    1. Neal Bouffard & Richard Easther & Tom Johnson & Richard J. Morrison & Jan Vink, 2001. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 4(2), December.
    2. Cathal O'Donoghue & John Lennon & Stephen Hynes, 2009. "The Life-Cycle Income Analysis Model (LIAM): a study of a flexible dynamic microsimulation modelling computing framework," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 2(1), pages 16-31.
    3. Sommarat Chantarat & Christopher Barrett, 2012. "Social network capital, economic mobility and poverty traps," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(3), pages 299-342, September.
    4. Ismail Saglam, 2013. "Divorce Costs and Marital Dissolution in a One-to-One Matching Framework With Nontransferable Utilities," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, March.
    5. Thomas Hills & Peter Todd, 2008. "Population Heterogeneity and Individual Differences in an Assortative Agent-Based Marriage and Divorce Model (MADAM) Using Search with Relaxing Expectations," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(4), pages 1-5.
    6. Peter Todd & Francesco Billari & Jorge Simão, 2005. "Aggregate age-at-marriage patterns from individual mate-search heuristics," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(3), pages 559-574, August.
    7. Nigel Gilbert & Andreas Pyka & Petra Ahrweiler, 2001. "Innovation Networks - a Simulation Approach," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 4(3), pages 1-8.
    8. Francesco Billari & Belinda Aparicio Diaz & Thomas Fent & Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, 2007. "The "Wedding-Ring"," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(3), pages 59-82, August.
    9. Ayse Mumcu & Ismail Saglam, 2008. "Marriage Formation/Dissolution and Marital Distribution in a Two-Period Economic Model of Matching with Cooperative Bargaining," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(4), pages 1-3.
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    1. Thomas Fent & Belinda Aparicio Diaz & Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, 2013. "Family policies in the context of low fertility and social structure," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(37), pages 963-998, November.

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    Keywords

    Marriage; Ethnicity; Homophily; Simulation;

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