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Positive and negative preferences in human mate selection

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Abstract

This paper focuses on preferences for specific characteristics in a potential partner using data from 1993 to 1999 provided by a French marriage bureau. We perform an econometric analysis of the various traits either sought or rejected in a potential partner, respectively by men and women. Our results are consistent with investment in marriage. On the one hand, men tend to reject vulgar and unfaithful women, meaning that they are likely to suffer serious fitness costs from infidelity. On the other hand, women dread meeting potential partners who are alcoholic, selfish or violent.
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Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Vaillant & François-Charles Wolff, 2011. "Positive and negative preferences in human mate selection," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 273-291, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:273-291
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-010-9089-y
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sohn, Kitae, 2015. "The value of male height in the marriage market," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 110-124.
    2. Ingela Alger & Donald Cox, 2013. "The evolution of altruistic preferences: mothers versus fathers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 421-446, September.
    3. Wanchuan Lin & Kathryn McEvilly & Juan Pantano, 2016. "Obesity and sex ratios in the U.S," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 269-292, June.
    4. Grossbard, Shoshana & Mukhopadhyay, Sankar, 2017. "Body-Weight and Women's Hours of Work: More Evidence That Marriage Markets Matter," IZA Discussion Papers 10775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:spr:izalbr:v:6:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40172-017-0059-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human mate selection; Marriage bureau; Gender differences; C91; D13; D83;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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