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Journal Article

Fatter Attraction: Anthropometric and Socioeconomic Matching on the Marriage Market

Pierre-André Chiappori, Sonia Oreffice and Climent Quintana-Domeque
Journal of Political Economy
Vol. 120, No. 4 (August 2012), pp. 659-695
DOI: 10.1086/667941
Stable URL:
Page Count: 37
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We construct a marriage market model of matching along multiple dimensions, some of which are unobservable, in which individual preferences can be summarized by a one-dimensional index combining the various characteristics. We show that, under testable assumptions, these indices are ordinally identified and that the male and female trade-offs between their partners’ characteristics are overidentified. Using PSID data on married couples, we recover the marginal rates of substitution between body mass index (BMI) and wages or education: men may compensate 1.3 additional units of BMI with a 1 percent increase in wages, whereas women may compensate two BMI units with 1 year of education.

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