Mating Markets

Chiappori, Pierre-André; Salanie, Bernard

This is a chapter in preparation for the Handbook of Family Economics, Shelly Lundberg and Alessandra Voena eds, Elsevier North Holland. The aim of the current survey is to provide an overview of these recent advances. We mostly concentrate on bipartite, one-to-one matching, e.g. on the traditional situation of marriage between one man and one woman. Sections 2.1 to 2.3 present the core of the theory. Needless to say, similar tools could be applied to analyze same-sex marriages (the so-called “roommate” problem in matching theory) or polygamy. Moreover, our central focus will be on frictionless matching, i.e. perfectly transferable utility. We discuss extensions to imperfectly transferable utility and search models in Section 2.4.1. One specificity of this survey is that we discuss dynamic aspects of mating markets at length. Not only does Section 2.5 discuss divorce and remarriage; it also stresses the role of limited commitment, and the importance of pre-marital investments in shaping the marriage relationship.


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Academic Units
Department of Economics Discussion Papers
Published Here
October 31, 2022

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Mating Markets