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Fatter Attraction: Anthropometric and Socioeconomic Matching on the Marriage Market

  • Pierre-Andr� Chiappori
  • Sonia Oreffice
  • Climent Quintana-Domeque

We construct a marriage market model of matching along multiple dimensions, some of which are unobservable, in which individual preferences can be summarized by a one-dimensional index combining the various characteristics. We show that, under testable assumptions, these indices are ordinally identified and that the male and female trade-offs between their partners’ characteristics are overidentified. Using PSID data on married couples, we recover the marginal rates of substitution between body mass index (BMI) and wages or education: men may compensate 1.3 additional units of BMI with a 1 percent increase in wages, whereas women may compensate two BMI units with 1 year of education.

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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/10.1086/667941
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File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/667941
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 120 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 659 - 695

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/667941
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Murat Iyigun & Yoram Weiss, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_034, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  3. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Anthropometry and Socioeconomics in the Couple: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 2009-22, FEDEA.
  4. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2002. "Beauty is a Beast, Frog is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-149, Boston University - Department of Economics, revised Nov 2004.
  5. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christian A. Gregory & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2009. "Where Does the Wage Penalty Bite?," NBER Working Papers 14984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2009. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 009, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  8. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 699-728, July.
  9. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  10. Alfred Galichon & Bernard Salanié, 2010. "Matching with Trade-offs: Revealed Preferences over Competiting Characteristics," Working Papers hal-00473173, HAL.
  11. Euna Han & Edward C. Norton & Sally C. Stearns, 2009. "Weight and wages: fat versus lean paychecks," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 535-548.
  12. Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2009. "The Height Premium in Earnings: The Role of Physical Capacity and Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 4266, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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