Friday, March 1, 2024

Compensating Differentials in the Marriage Market

Potential mates differ in what they bring to the relationship. In online dating, youth, especially for women, appears to be sought after. In a forthcoming Journal of Labor Economics article, Corine Low applies the Indifference Principle to estimate how much more income a woman must earn each year she ages to remain equally attractive. Here is the abstract.

This paper quantifies the causal negative impact of age on women’s marriage market appeal using an experiment where real online daters rate hypothetical profiles with randomly assigned ages. Truthfulness is incentivized through the experiment’s compensation: participants receive professional dating advice customized according to their ratings. The experiment shows that for every year a woman ages, she must earn $7,000 more annually to remain equally attractive to potential partners. This preference appears driven by women’s asymmetric fertility decline with age, as it is present only for men without children and who have accurate knowledge of the age-fertility trade-off.

1 comment:

  1. That $7000 increase in annual earnings seems far to low.