Much empirical evidence shows that female and male partners look alike along a variety of attributes.
It is, however, unclear how this positive sorting comes about because marriage is an equilibrium outcome arising from a process that entails searching, meeting, and choosing one another.
This study takes advantage of unique data to shed light on the forces driving choices at the earliest stage of a relationship.
Importantly, meeting opportunities have a substantial role in determining dating proposals.
I'll post market design related news and items about repugnant markets.
See also my Game theory, experimental economics, and market design page.
I have a new general-interest book on market design: Who Gets What--and Why The subtitle is "The new economics of matchmaking and market design.": Matching and Sorting in Online Dating.
They write"Using a novel data set from an online dating site, we first estimate mate preferences and then use the classic Gale-Shapley algorithm to predict matching outcomes.
Online dating exists to facilitate the search for a partner.
Our results suggest that the particular site that we study leads to approximately efficient matching outcomes (within the set of stable matches), and that search frictions are mostly absent.
Hence, the site appears to be efficiently designed."Their dataset allows them to look at all the clicks and messages of a subset of participants.
So they can see which profiles people look at, and whom they choose to contact.
This allows them to form estimates about preferences (on the assumption that if you browse two profiles and contact one of them, you prefer the one you contacted.) And they can observe when email addresses or phone numbers are mutually exchanged, which gives them their proxy for matches.
They compare the matchings they see both to marriages in the population at large (from Census data), and to stable matchings obtained by running the deferred acceptance algorithm, using the estimated preferences.