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Personality traits and the marriage market

Author

Listed:
  • Arnaud Dupuy

    (ROA)

  • Alfred Galichon

    (Département d'économie (ECON))

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Dupuy & Alfred Galichon, 2012. "Personality traits and the marriage market," Sciences Po publications 6943, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/7o52iohb7k6srk09mj4j5amb8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    multidimensional sorting; saliency analysis; marriage market; personality traits; continuous logit;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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