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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. Galichon, Alfred & Salanié, Bernard, 2010. "Matching with Trade-offs: Revealed Preferences over Competing Characteristics," CEPR Discussion Papers 7858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Dufloi & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2012. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," Documentos de Trabajo 423, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  3. 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).
  4. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  5. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Iyigun, Murat & Weiss, Yoram, 2006. "Investment in Schooling and the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2454, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Climent Quintana Domeque & Sonia Oreffice, 2010. "Anthropometry and socioeconomics in the couple: evidence from the PSID," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-16, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  7. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2a, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Linda Y. Wong, 2001. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 222, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Christian A. Gregory & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2011. "Where Does the Wage Penalty Bite?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 315-347 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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