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Personality Traits and the Marriage Market

  • Dupuy, Arnaud

    ()

    (LISER (CEPS/INSTEAD))

  • Galichon, Alfred

    ()

    (Sciences Po, Paris)

Which and how many attributes are relevant for the sorting of agents in a matching market? This paper addresses these questions by constructing indices of mutual attractiveness that aggregate information about agents' attributes. The first k indices for agents on each side of the market provide the best approximation of the matching surplus by a k-dimensional model. The methodology is applied on a unique Dutch household survey containing information about education, height, BMI, health, attitude towards risk and personality traits of spouses. Three important empirical conclusions are drawn. First, sorting in the marriage market is not unidimensional: individuals face important trade-offs between the attributes of their spouses which are not amenable to a single-dimensional index. Second, although education explains a quarter of a couple's observable surplus, personality traits explain another 20%. Third, different personality traits matter differently for men and for women.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6943.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Political Economy, 2014, 122 (6), 1271-1319.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6943
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  2. Pierre-Andr� 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.
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  17. 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.
  18. Dan Anderberg, 2004. "Getting Hitched: The Equilibrium Marriage Market Behaviour of a British Cohort," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/12, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Jul 2004.
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  20. Federico Echenique & Sangmok Lee & Matthew Shum & M. Bumin Yenmez, 2013. "The Revealed Preference Theory of Stable and Extremal Stable Matchings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 153-171, 01.
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