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Fatter attraction: anthropometric and socieconomic matching on the marriage market

Author

Listed:
  • Pierre Chiapore

    (Economics Department, Columbia University)

  • Climent Quintana Domeque

    (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Sonia Oreffice

    (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We construct a matching model on the marriage market along more than one characteristic, where individuals have preferences over physical attractiveness (proxied by anthropometric characteristics) and market and household productivity of potential mates (proxied by socioeconomic characteristics), with a certain degree of substitutability between them. Men and women assess each other through an index combining these various attributes, so the matching is one-dimensional. We estimate the sorting and trade-offs among these characteristics using data from the PSID, finding evidence of compensation between anthropometric and socioeconomic characteristics for both genders, and of equality of these marginal rates of substitution across traits. Among men, a 10% increase in BMI can be compensated by a higher wage, the supplement being estimated to be around 3%. Similarly, for women, an additional year of education may compensate up to three BMI units.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Chiapore & Climent Quintana Domeque & Sonia Oreffice, 2010. "Fatter attraction: anthropometric and socieconomic matching on the marriage market," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-23, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2010-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    BMI; marriage market; wages; education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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