On the Empirical Content of the Beckerian Marriage Model

17 Pages Posted: 1 May 2017 Last revised: 27 Dec 2017

See all articles by Jianfei Cao

Jianfei Cao

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Xiaoxia Shi

University of Wisconsin - Madison; Yale University

Matthew Shum

California Institute of Technology

Date Written: December 22, 2017

Abstract

This note studies the empirical content of a simple marriage matching model with transferable utility, based on Becker (1973). Under Becker’s conditions, the equilibrium matching is unique and assortative. However, this note shows that, when the researcher only observes a subset of relevant characteristics, the unique assortative matching does not uniquely determine a distribution of observed characteristics. This precludes standard approaches to point estimation of the underlying model parameters. We propose a solution to this problem, based on the idea of “random matching.”

Keywords: Two-Sided Matching, Structural Estimation, Assortative Matching, Indeterminacy, Random Matching

JEL Classification: C51, C78

Suggested Citation

Cao, Jianfei and Shi, Xiaoxia and Shum, Matthew, On the Empirical Content of the Beckerian Marriage Model (December 22, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2960702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2960702

Jianfei Cao

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Xiaoxia Shi

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Yale University

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Matthew Shum (Contact Author)

California Institute of Technology ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91125
United States

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