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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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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/48/2/474
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997. "Assortative Matching and Search," Working papers 97-2a, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Linda Y. Wong, 2001. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 222, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Serene Tan & Nicolas L Jacquet, 2005. "On the Segmentation of Markets," 2005 Meeting Papers 456, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Ran Abramitzky & Adeline Delavande & Luis Vasconcelos, 2008. "Marrying Up: The Role of Sex Ratio in Assortative Matching," Discussion Papers 07-050, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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