Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1113243
 
 

References (31)



 
 

Citations (21)



 


 



Matching and Sorting in Online Dating


Guenter J. Hitsch


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Ali Hortacsu


University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Dan Ariely


Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

March 1, 2008


Abstract:     
This paper studies the economics of match formation using a novel data set obtained from a major online dating service. Using detailed information on the users' attributes and interactions, we estimate a model of mate preferences. Based on the estimated preferences, we use the Gale-Shapley algorithm to predict the stable matches among the users of the dating site. Comparing the predicted and observed matching patterns, we find that the Gale-Shapley model explains the matches achieved by the online dating market well, and that the matches are approximately efficient (within the class of stable matches). We then explore whether the estimated mate preferences, in conjunction with the Gale-Shapley algorithm, can explain the matching patterns in offline, real-world marriages. We find that we can predict assortative mating patterns that are similar to those observed in marriages. As the Gale-Shapley algorithm predicts match outcomes in the absence of search costs, we conclude that mate preferences, not search frictions, explain much of the strong degree of sorting along various attributes in marriages.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: matching, market design, Gale-Shapley, marriage, sorting

JEL Classification: C78, D02, D78, J12

working papers series





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Date posted: March 30, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Hitsch, Guenter J. and Hortacsu, Ali and Ariely, Dan, Matching and Sorting in Online Dating (March 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1113243 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1113243

Contact Information

Guenter J. Hitsch (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Ali Hortacsu
University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-5841 (Phone)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Dan Ariely
Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )
Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
(919) 381-4366 (Phone)
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