Terms of Endearment: An Equilibrium Model of Sex and Matching
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We develop a directed search model of relationship formation which can disentangle male and female preferences for types of partners and for di fferent relationship terms using only a cross-section of observed matches. Individuals direct their search to a particular type of match on the basis of (i) the terms of the relationship, (ii) the type of partner, and (iii) the endogenously determined probability of matching. If men outnumber women, they tend to trade a low probability of a preferred match for a high probability of a less-preferred match; the analogous statement holds for women. Using data from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health we estimate the equilibrium matching model with high school relationships. Variation in gender ratios is used to uncover male and female preferences. Estimates from the structural model match subjective data on whether sex would occur in one's ideal relationship. The equilibrium result shows that some women would ideally not have sex, but do so out of matching concerns; the reverse is true for men.
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Professor of Economics
Professor Arcidiacono specializes in research involving applied microeconomics, applied economics, and labor economics. His research primarily focuses on education and discrimination. His work focuses specifically on the exploration of a variety of subjects, such as structural estimation, affirmative action, minimum wages, teen sex, discrimination, higher education, and dynamic discrete choice models, among others. He recently received funding from a National Science Foundation Grant for his pro
Professor of Economics
Professor McElroy focuses her research on the subjects of labor, demand systems, and financial economics. She has completed several of her research projects under the funding provided by National Science Foundation grants, including her latest work on the economics of the family in relation to bargain decision-making and marriage markets. She is also currently investigating altruism in marriage markets and bargaining on the core in marriage markets. She has also completed studies involving th
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