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Fatter Attraction: Anthropometric and Socioeconomic Matching on the Marriage Market

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  • Pierre-André Chiappori
  • Sonia Oreffice
  • Climent Quintana-Domeque

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2012. "Fatter Attraction: Anthropometric and Socioeconomic Matching on the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(4), pages 659-695.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/667941
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 699-728, July.
    4. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2007. "Beauty Is a Beast, Frog Is a Prince: Assortative Matching with Nontransferabilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(4), pages 1073-1102, July.
    5. 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).
    6. 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.
    7. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    8. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Maitreesh Ghatak & Jeanne Lafortune, 2013. "Marry for What? Caste and Mate Selection in Modern India," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 33-72, May.
    9. Alfred Galichon & Bernard Salanié, 2010. "Matching with Trade-Offs: Revealed Preferences over Competing Characteristics," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1293p84sf58, Sciences Po.
    10. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Anthropometry and Socioeconomics in the Couple: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 2009-22, FEDEA.
    11. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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