Education Level and Mating Success: Undercover on Tinder

35 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2018

See all articles by Brecht Neyt

Brecht Neyt

Ghent University

Sarah Vandenbulcke

Ghent University

Stijn Baert

Ghent University; University of Antwerp; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

In this study, we examine the impact of an individual’s education level on her/his mating success by means of a field experiment on the mobile dating app Tinder, using a sample of 3,600 profile evaluations. In line with previous studies from the field of evolutionary psychology, our results indicate a heterogeneous effect of education level by gender: while females strongly prefer a highly educated potential partner, we cannot accept this hypothesis for males. Additionally, in contrast with previous literature on partner choice in an offline context and on classic online dating websites, we do not find any evidence for educational assortative mating, i.e. preferring a partner with a similar education level, on mobile dating apps such as Tinder. We argue that this is due to our research design, which allows us to examine actual (instead of stated) mate preferences in a dating market without search frictions and social frictions.

Keywords: returns to education, mating success, assortative mating, dating apps, Tinder

JEL Classification: C93, I26, J12

Suggested Citation

Neyt, Brecht and Vandenbulcke, Sarah and Baert, Stijn, Education Level and Mating Success: Undercover on Tinder. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11933, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3294148

Brecht Neyt (Contact Author)

Ghent University ( email )

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Sarah Vandenbulcke

Ghent University

Coupure Links 653
Gent, 9000
Belgium

Stijn Baert

Ghent University ( email )

University of Antwerp ( email )

Prinsstraat 13
Antwerp, Antwerp 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/nl/personeel/stijn-baert/

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 3
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uclouvain.be/en-309318.html

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos/index_html?key=6832

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