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Optimizing the marriage market: an application of the linear assignment model


Reference:

Cao, N. V., Fragniere, E., Gauthier, J. A., Sapin, M. and Widmer, E. D., 2010. Optimizing the marriage market: an application of the linear assignment model. European Journal of Operational Research, 202 (2), pp. 547-553.

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Official URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2009.06.009

Abstract

Research shows that the success of marriages and other intimate partnerships depends on objective attributes such as differences in age, cultural background, and educational level. This article proposes a mathematical approach to optimizing marriage by allocating spouses in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of divorce or separation. To produce our optimization model, we use the assumption of a central "agency" that would coordinate the matching of couples. Based on a representative and longitudinal sample of 1074 cohabiting and married couples living in Switzerland, we estimate various objective functions corresponding to age, education, ethnicity, and prior divorce concerning every possible combination of men and women. Our results show that the current state of marriages or partnerships is well below the social Optimum. We reallocate approximately 68% of individuals (7 out of 10) to a new couple that we posit has a higher likelihood of survival. From this selection of new partners, we obtain our final "optimal" solutions, with a 21% reduction in the objective function. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsCao, N. V., Fragniere, E., Gauthier, J. A., Sapin, M. and Widmer, E. D.
DOI10.1016/j.ejor.2009.06.009
DepartmentsSchool of Management
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code17275

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