Matchmaking Means and Marriage Quality: The Role of Information in Marriage Markets
45 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2004
Date Written: March 18, 2004
Using a unique survey of 10,000 Chinese couples in 1991, this paper evaluates the impact of marriage market on life quality after marriage. Specifically, we compare three matchmaking means - self match, parental involvement, and friend introduction - and associate them with the degree of marriage harmony and joint couple income after marriage. We consider the agency cost of parent involvement and friend introduction, the market expansion effect of parents/friends matchmaking, and the self-selection effect driven by omitted individual attributes. In a number of specifications, we find that self-matched couples have the fewest domestic conflicts and the highest income. This result holds even after isolating the self-selection effect. Evidence suggests that the agency costs associated with friends or parents exceed the potential market expansion effect; the costs show up in compromised domestic harmony for parent-involved marriages, and reduced earning for friends-introduced marriages.
Keywords: Marriage, matchmaking, marriage quality, china, information
JEL Classification: J12, D82, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation