Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Marital Matching Among US Residents: A Comparison of Immigrants by Region of Origin




Seidman College of Business

Date Range



This paper uses the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series of the 2000 Census to examine how equilibrium sorting takes place in marriages between immigrants in the US from Mexico, Asia, the Middle East, Central America, South America, Europe and Africa. For comparison purposes it also examines patterns of marital matching observed between men and women born in the US. To do so, the paper constructs an empirical model of spouse selection based on Becker's efficient marriage market hypothesis, in which optimal assignments of marriage partners are derived from maximizing the household output function. By specifying a marital production function and introducing the influence of multiple individual characteristics simultaneously in the matching technology, this paper creates a matching algorithm and uses the estimated parameters to both isolate the characteristics that drive the matching process and to examine positive and negative assortative mating with respect to nonmarket (age, education) and market (hours worked, income) characteristics. Finally, to judge how well the model fits Becker's (1991) theory, the paper constructs match matrices which are also used to assess if marriages in the sample exhibit hypergamy (women marrying up ) or hypogamy (men marrying up ).

Conference Name

International Atlantic Economic Society

Conference Location

Istanbul, Turkey

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