Can Anyone be "The" One? Evidence on Mate Selection from Speed Dating
Marriage data show a strong degree of positive assortative mating along a variety of attributes. But since marriage is an equilibrium outcome, it is unclear whether positive sorting is the result of preferences rather than opportunities. We assess the relative importance of preferences and opportunities in dating behaviour, using unique data from a large commercial speed dating agency. While the speed dating design gives us a direct observation of individual preferences, the random allocation of participants across events generates an exogenous source of variation in opportunities and allows us to identify the role of opportunities separately from that of preferences. We find that both women and men equally value physical attributes, such as age and weight, and that there is positive sorting along age, height, and education. The role of individual preferences, however, is outplayed by that of opportunities. Along some attributes (such as occupation, height and smoking) opportunities explain almost all the estimated variation in demand. Along other attributes (such as age), the role of preferences is more substantial, but never dominant. Despite this, preferences have a part when we observe a match, i.e., when two individuals propose to one another.
|Date of creation:||13 Oct 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.essex.ac.uk/economics/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: Discussion Papers Administrator, Department of Economics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, U.K.|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Linda Y. Wong, 2001.
"Structural Estimation of Marriage Models,"
Computing in Economics and Finance 2001
222, Society for Computational Economics.
- Wong, Linda, 2001. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 A1-1, International Conferences on Panel Data.
- Per-Anders Edin & Peter Fredriksson & Olof �slund, 2003.
"Ethnic Enclaves And The Economic Success Of Immigrants - Evidence From A Natural Experiment,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 329-357, February.
- Åslund, Olof & Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter, 2001. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2729, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic Enclaves and the Economic Success of Immigrants - Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Paper Series 2000:21, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
- Edin, Per-Anders & Fredriksson, Peter & Åslund, Olof, 2000. "Ethnic enclaves and the economic success of immigrants - evidence from a natural experiment," Working Paper Series 2000:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
- Shimer, R. & Smith, L., 1997.
"Assortative Matching and Search,"
97-2b, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Micere Keels & Greg Duncan & Stefanie Deluca & Ruby Mendenhall & James Rosenbaum, 2005. "Fifteen years later: Can residential mobility programs provide a long-term escape from neighborhood segregation, crime, and poverty," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 51-73, February.
- Bergstrom, T. & Bagnoli, M., 1991.
"Courtship as a waiting game,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
386, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Bergstrom, T. & Bagnoli, M., 1990. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers 90-12, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Bergstrom, T. & Bagnali, M., 1991. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers 91-3, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Mark Bagnoli & Ted Bergstrom, . "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Papers _030, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
- Hoppe, Heidrun C. & Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2005.
"The Theory of Assortative Matching Based on Costly Signals,"
Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems
85, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Heidrun C. Hoppe & Benny Moldovanu & Aner Sela, 2009. "The Theory of Assortative Matching Based on Costly Signals," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(1), pages 253-281.
- Hoppe, Heidrun C. & Moldovanu, Benny & Sela, Aner, 2006. "The Theory of Assortative Matching Based on Costly Signals," CEPR Discussion Papers 5543, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- David Marmaros & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006.
"How Do Friendships Form?,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 79-119, 02.
- Lones Smith, 2006. "The Marriage Model with Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1124-1146, December.
- Edin, P.-A. & Fredriksson, P. & Aslund, O., 2000.
"Evidence from a Natural Experiment,"
2000:21, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
- Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
- Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
- Pencavel, John, 1998. "Assortative Mating by Schooling and the Work Behavior of Wives and Husbands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 326-29, May.
- 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.
- Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:620. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Essex Economics Web Manager)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.