Matchmaking Means and Marriage Quality: The Role of Information in Marriage Markets

45 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2004

See all articles by Ginger Zhe Jin

Ginger Zhe Jin

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Lixin Colin Xu

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: March 18, 2004

Abstract

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

Jin, Ginger Zhe and Xu, Lixin Colin and Xu, Lixin Colin, Matchmaking Means and Marriage Quality: The Role of Information in Marriage Markets (March 18, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=531522 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.531522

Ginger Zhe Jin

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Lixin Colin Xu (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

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United States

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street NW
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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