Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Terms of endearment?

From NBER Research.

Terms of Endearment: An Equilibrium Model of Sex and Matching
by Peter Arcidiacono, Andrew W. Beauchamp, Marjorie B. McElroy  -  #16517


We develop a directed search model of relationship formation which
can disentangle male and female preferences for types of partners and
for different 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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