Theses Doctoral

Matching in Marriage Market and Labor Market

Ahn, So Yoon

This dissertation examines how matching -- in marriage markets and labor markets -- can change under certain market circumstances and under different information provisions.
The first two chapters analyze marriage market, with a particular focus on the impacts of cross-border marriage in marriage markets. Given the severely male-biased sex ratios in many Asian countries including China and India, demands for foreign brides are expected to grow in the near future. In the first chapter, I theoretically investigate the impacts of cross-border marriage on marital patterns and surplus division of couples. I use a frictionless transferable utility matching framework to analyze how cross-border marriage affects matching patterns and marital shares for couples.
In the second chapter, I test the model's predictions, focusing on Taiwan (a wealthier side with male biased sex ratios) and Vietnam (a poorer side with balanced sex ratios in the marriage market). I find that cross-border marriages are predominantly made up of Taiwanese men and Vietnamese women; Taiwanese men are selected from the middle level of the socioeconomic status distribution, and Vietnamese women are positively selected. Moreover, cross-border marriage significantly affects men and women who stay in their own countries without engaging in cross-border marriage, by altering marriage rate, matching partners, and intra-household allocations within the households. My results suggest that changes in trade and immigration policies can have far-reaching implications on marital outcomes and women's bargaining power.
The third chapter investigates job and jobseeker matching in labor market. Specifically, it explores whether inaccurate expectations of job seekers about their competitiveness contribute to poor job matching in developing countries. We utilize the largest online job portal in the Middle East and North Africa region to evaluate the effect of an intervention providing information about own competitiveness to job applicants. Providing information about the relative fit of an applicant's background for a particular job causes job seekers to apply for jobs that are better matches given their background. The effects of information are the largest among entry-level workers with higher levels of education, who generally face the highest unemployment rates in the region. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that changes over time in demand for skills in the job market may lead to inaccurate expectations that hinder labor market matching. Improving the efficiency of online job search may be particularly welfare-enhancing in the Middle East and North Africa region given that the young, highly-educated subpopulation that faces the greatest labor market hurdles also has the highest level of internet connectedness.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Chiappori, Pierre-André
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 14, 2018