Assortative Matching and Search

Posted: 26 Jul 2000

See all articles by Robert Shimer

Robert Shimer

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

Lones Smith

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 1997

Abstract

In Becker's (1973) neoclassical marriage market model, matching is positively assortative if types are complements: i.e.\ match output f(x,y) is supermodular in x and y. We reprise this famous result assuming time-intensive partner search and transferable output. We prove existence of a search equilibrium with a continuum of types, and then characterize matching. After showing that Becker's conditions on match output no longer suffice for assortative matching, we find sufficient conditions valid for any search frictions and type distribution: supermodularity not only of output f, but also of log fx and log fxy. Symmetric submodularity conditions imply negatively assortative matching. Examples show these conditions are necessary.

JEL Classification: C7

Suggested Citation

Shimer, Robert J. and Smith, Lones, Assortative Matching and Search (March 1997). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=139539

Robert J. Shimer (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://home.uchicago.edu/~shimer/

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Lones Smith

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

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Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States
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608-262-2033 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lonessmith.com

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