This paper focuses on mate preferences, whereas the companion piece "Matching and Sorting in Online Dating Markets" discusses the implications of mate preferences for online and offline sorting patterns.Economists love online dating websites, not to find the love of their lives (although they might be doing that) but because they provide an opportunity to observe a fascinating market in action: the market for marriage.Neither one of these options is satisfactory though.
This doesn’t just apply to the question of race but about other characteristics as well.
An economist could look instead at people who are already married and try to determine their preferences that way, but this doesn’t work very well either. Suppose I have evidence that women with breasts that are smaller than average are more often married to men who are below average height.
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We estimate mate preferences using a novel data set from an online dating service.
A potential problem arises if the site users strategically shade their true preferences.
We provide a simple test and a bias correction method for strategic behavior.
Note: We split an earlier version of this paper (What Makes You Click?
- Mate Preferences and Matching Outcomes in Online Dating") into two pieces.
Together, De Wayne and Jonathan have a combined experience of over 50 years in broadcasting.