Optimizing the Marriage Market Through the Reallocation of Partners: An Application of the Linear Assignment Model

25 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2008

See all articles by Nguyen Vi Cao

Nguyen Vi Cao

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Emmanuel Fragniere

University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland - Geneva School of Business Administration

Jacques-Antoine Gauthier

University of Lausanne

Marlène Sapin

University of Lausanne

Eric D. Widmer

University of Geneva

Date Written: March 2008

Abstract

Research shows that success of marriages and other intimate partnerships depend on objective attributes such as differences of age, cultural background or educational levels between partners. This article proposes a mathematical approach of marriage which intends to optimally allocate spouses in order to reduce the likelihood of divorce within the set of structural constraints defining a marriage market. Based on a representative and longitudinal sample of 1074 cohabitating and married couples living in Switzerland, we estimate various objective functions corresponding to age, education, ethnicity and previous divorce experience concerning every possible combination of men and women. Our results show that the current state of marriages or partnerships is well below the social optimum. About 7 individuals over 10 (68%) are reallocated to a couple with a higher chance of survival than the actual couple that they belong to. This reallocation leads the initial non optimal situations to the final optimal situations with a reduction of the objective function by 21% of its initial value.

Keywords: Marriage, partnership, divorce, swiss couples study

JEL Classification: C6, J12

Suggested Citation

Cao, Nguyen Vi and Fragniere, Emmanuel and Gauthier, Jacques-Antoine and Sapin, Marlène and Widmer, Eric D., Optimizing the Marriage Market Through the Reallocation of Partners: An Application of the Linear Assignment Model (March 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1102378 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1102378

Nguyen Vi Cao

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Emmanuel Fragniere (Contact Author)

University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland - Geneva School of Business Administration ( email )

CH-1227 Geneva
Switzerland

Jacques-Antoine Gauthier

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

Marlène Sapin

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

Eric D. Widmer

University of Geneva ( email )

102 Bd Carl-Vogt
Genève, CH - 1205
Switzerland

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