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Dating Preferences and Meeting Opportunities in Mate Choice Decisions

  • Michèle Belot
  • Marco Francesconi

Much empirical evidence shows that female and male partners look alike along a variety of attributes. It is, however, unclear how this positive sorting comes about because marriage is an equilibrium outcome arising from a process that entails searching, meeting, and choosing one another. This study takes advantage of unique data to shed light on the forces driving choices at the earliest stage of a relationship. Both women and men value physical attributes, such as age and weight, and reveal that their dating choices are assortative along several traits. Importantly, meeting opportunities have a substantial role in determining dating proposals.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 48 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 474-508

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:48:y:2013:ii:1:p:474-508
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  1. Raymond Fisman & Sheena S. Iyengar & Emir Kamenica & Itamar Simonson, 2006. "Gender Differences in Mate Selection: Evidence From a Speed Dating Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 673-697.
  2. Fernández, Raquel & Guner, Nezih & Knowles, John, 2001. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 3040, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2011. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 124-57, July.
  4. Gustaf Bruze, 2011. "Marriage Choices of Movie Stars: Does Spouse's Education Matter?," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 1 - 28.
  5. Linda Y. Wong, 2001. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 222, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Nicolas L. Jacquet & Serene Tan, 2007. "On the Segmentation of Markets," Working Papers 18-2007, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  7. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
  8. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Eugene Choo & Aloysius Siow, 2006. "Who Marries Whom and Why," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 175-201, February.
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