How Does Matching Uncertainty Affect Marital Surplus? Theory and Evidence from China

77 Pages Posted: 17 May 2022

See all articles by Li Han

Li Han

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - School of Humanities and Social Science; Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - School of Science

Xinzheng Shi

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management

Ming-ang Zhang

Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE)

Date Written: May 31, 2021

Abstract

Information quality affects matching and marital outcomes. We show in a simple two-dimensional matching model that a noisier cue for one trait leads to a shift in sorting tradeoff toward the other, lowers average welfare but the impact is asymmetric. To test the predictions, we explore the repeal of mandatory premarital health examinations in China. The repeal, increasing health cue noise, is found to have reduced postmarital subjective well-being mainly through a reduction in child health associated with decreased sorting by health. The deterioration was particularly strong for women and the poor, suggesting entrenched inequality by gender and wealth.

Keywords: Premarital Health Examination, Subjective Well-being, Assortative Matching, Sorting Tradeoff, Inequality

JEL Classification: J12, J13, I18

Suggested Citation

Han, Li and Shi, Xinzheng and Zhang, Ming-ang, How Does Matching Uncertainty Affect Marital Surplus? Theory and Evidence from China (May 31, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4092133 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4092133

Li Han

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - School of Humanities and Social Science ( email )

Room 2338
Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - School of Science ( email )

Room 6515, 6/F, Lifts 25/26
Clear Water Bay
Kowloon
Hong Kong

Xinzheng Shi

Tsinghua University - School of Economics & Management ( email )

Beijing, 100084
China

Ming-ang Zhang (Contact Author)

Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) ( email )

39 South College Road
Haidian District
Beijing, Beijing 100081
China

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