Pre-Matching Gambles

27 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2014 Last revised: 23 Sep 2015

Hanzhe Zhang

Michigan State University

Date Written: September 22, 2015


This paper initiates the investigation into pre-matching gambles. Examples of pre-matching gambles include occupational choices before the marriage market, college major choices before the labor market, and financial portfolio management to attract future investors. Surprisingly, people take risky investments they would have not taken if not for the subsequent participation in competitive matching markets. A fundamental and unique feature of the competitive matching market, which I call the competitive rematching effect, drives pre-matching gambles. The competitive rematching effect drives gambling independently of the shape of the surplus function, contrary to the possible misconception that surplus supermodularity and positive-assortative matching play a role. Finally, the paper discusses implications to efficiency and inequality associated with gambles, and to occupational choices with marital concerns.

Keywords: investment-and-matching, competitive rematching effect, efficiency and inequality, pre-marital occupational choices

JEL Classification: C78, D31, J41

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Hanzhe, Pre-Matching Gambles (September 22, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Hanzhe Zhang (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

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