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Marriage Formation with Assortative Meeting as a Two-Sided Optimal Stopping Problem

  • E. M. Parilina
  • A. Tampieri

In this paper we study marriage formation through a two-sided secretary problem approach. We consider individuals with nontransferable utility and two different dimensions of heterogeneity, a characteristic evaluated according to the idiosyncratic preferences of potential partners, and an universally-rankable characteristic. There are two possible states of the world, one in which people meet their partner randomly, and one in which the meeting occurs between individuals with similar characteristics. We show that individuals with higher universal characteristic tend to be more picky in their marriage hunting. This does not necessarily mean that they marry later than other individuals, since the higher expected quality of their potential partners in the assortative meeting state can make them marry earlier than individuals with a lower universal characteristic.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp886.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp886
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  1. Chade, Hector, 2001. "Two-sided search and perfect segregation with fixed search costs," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 31-51, July.
  2. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  3. BLOCH, Francis & RYDER, Harl, 1994. "Two-Sided Search, Marriages and Matchmakers," CORE Discussion Papers 1994028, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Sattinger, Michael, 1995. "Search and the Efficient Assignment of Workers to Jobs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 283-302, May.
  5. Alp E. Atakan, 2006. "Assortative Matching with Explicit Search Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 667-680, 05.
  6. Ettore Damiano & Hao Li & Wing Suen, 2005. "Unravelling of Dynamic Sorting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 1057-1076.
  7. Mortensen, Dale T, 1982. "Property Rights and Efficiency in Mating, Racing, and Related Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 968-79, December.
  8. Coles, Melvyn & Francesconi, Marco, 2007. "On the Emergence of Toyboys: Equilibrium Matching with Ageing and Uncertain Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 2612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Caldarelli, G. & Capocci, A., 2001. "Beauty and distance in the stable marriage problem," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 300(1), pages 325-331.
  10. Ettore Damiano & Hao Li, 2004. "Unraveling of Dynamic Sorting," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 72, Econometric Society.
  11. Roth, Alvin E. & Sotomayor, Marilda, 1992. "Two-sided matching," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 485-541 Elsevier.
  12. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
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