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A Direct Test of the Efficient Marriage Market Hypothesis

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  • Suen, Wing
  • Lui, Hon-Kwong

Abstract

This paper takes Gary Becker's efficient marriage market hypothesis at face value and directly confronts it with data from Hong Kong. The theory of optimal assignment is used to develop an empirical model of spouse selection, which resembles a Tobit model. This model can address positive or negative assortative matching as well as marginal product pricing in marriage markets. The authors also use a computer algorithm to solve the assignment problem for imputed marital output. The degree to which the actual pairing of husbands and wives corresponds to the optimal pairing provides a goodness-of-fit test of the efficient marriage market hypothesis. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Suen, Wing & Lui, Hon-Kwong, 1999. "A Direct Test of the Efficient Marriage Market Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(1), pages 29-46, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:37:y:1999:i:1:p:29-46
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Groothuis & Paul Gabriel, 2010. "Positive assortative mating and spouses as complementary factors of production: a theory of labour augmentation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(9), pages 1101-1111.
    2. Arnaud Dupuy & Alfred Galichon, 2012. "Canonical Correlation and Assortative Matching: a remark," Working Papers 2012/40, Maastricht School of Management.
    3. Christopher A. Jepsen & Lisa K. Jepsen, 2006. "The Sexual Division of Labor Within Households: Comparisons of Couples to Roommates," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 299-312, Spring.
    4. Lisa K. Jepsen & Christopher A. Jepsen, "undated". "An Empirical Analysis of Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Couples: Do "Likes" Still Like "Likes" in the '90s?," IPR working papers 99-5, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
    5. repec:kap:iaecre:v:14:y:2008:i:4:p:448-459 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Macours, Karen, 2002. "Insecurity of Property Rights and Matching in the Tenancy Market," 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain 24931, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. 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.
    8. Aloysius Siow, 2015. "Testing Becker's Theory of Positive Assortative Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 409-441.
    9. Macours, Karen & Janvry, Alain de & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2010. "Insecurity of property rights and social matching in the tenancy market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 880-899, October.
    10. Sonia Dalmia & Paul Sicilian, 2008. "Kids Cause Specialization: Evidence for Becker’s Household Division of Labor Hypothesis," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 14(4), pages 448-459, November.

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