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Matching with Trade-offs: Revealed Preferences over Competiting Characteristics


  • Alfred Galichon

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Bernard Salanié

    (Columbia University [New York])


We investigate in this paper the theory and econometrics of optimal matchings with competing criteria. The surplus from a marriage match, for instance, may depend both on the incomes and on the educations of the partners, as well as on characteristics that the analyst does not observe. The social optimum must therefore trade off matching on incomes and matching on educations. Given a exible specification of the surplus function, we characterize under mild assumptions the properties of the set of feasible matchings and of the socially optimal matching. Then we show how data on the covariation of the types of the partners in observed matches can be used to estimate the parameters that define social preferences over matches. We provide both nonparametric and parametric procedures that are very easy to use in applications.

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  • Alfred Galichon & Bernard Salanié, 2010. "Matching with Trade-offs: Revealed Preferences over Competiting Characteristics," Working Papers hal-00473173, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00473173
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
    2. Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana, 2009. "Fatter Attraction: Anthropometric and Socioeconomic Characteristics in the Marriage Market," Working Papers 2009-34, FEDEA.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    4. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Raicho Bojilov & Alfred Galichon, 2016. "Matching in closed-form: equilibrium, identification, and comparative statics," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 61(4), pages 587-609, April.
    2. Arnaud Dupuy & Alfred Galichon, 2014. "Personality Traits and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1271-1319.
    3. Melvyn G. Coles & Marco Francesconi, 2013. "Equilibrium Search and the Impact of Equal Opportunities for Women," CESifo Working Paper Series 4556, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Edwards, Ryan D. & Roff, Jennifer, 2016. "What mom and dad’s match means for junior: Marital sorting and child outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 43-56.
    5. Jeremy T. Fox & David H. Hsu & Chenyu Yang, 2012. "Unobserved Heterogeneity in Matching Games with an Application to Venture Capital," NBER Working Papers 18168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Damien Bosc & Alfred Galichon, 2014. "Extreme dependence for multivariate data," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(7), pages 1187-1199, July.
    7. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2010. "Matching with a Handicap: The Case of Smoking in the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5392, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. Jerez, Belén, 2014. "Competitive equilibrium with search frictions: A general equilibrium approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 252-286.
    10. Ivar Ekeland & Alfred Galichon, 2013. "The housing problem and revealed preference theory: duality and an application," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 54(3), pages 425-441, November.
    11. Bernard Salanié & Alfred Galichon, 2012. "Cupid's Invisible Hand: Social Surplus and Identification in Matching Models," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5rkqqmvrn4t, Sciences Po.
    12. Wanchuan Lin & Kathryn McEvilly & Juan Pantano, 2016. "Obesity and sex ratios in the U.S," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 269-292, June.
    13. Edmans, Alex & Gabaix, Xavier, 2010. "Risk and the CEO Market: Why Do Some Large Firms Hire Highly-Paid, Low-Talent CEOs?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7836, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item


    assignment; matching; marriage; assignment.;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

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