Dating Preferences and Meeting Opportunities in Mate Choice Decisions

Michele Belot, Marco Francesconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much empirical evidence shows that female and male partners look alike along a variety of attributes. It is however unclear how this positive sorting comes about, because marriage is an equilibrium outcome arising from a process that entails searching, meeting and choosing one another. This study takes advantage of a unique data set to shed light on the forces driving choices at the earliest stage of a relationship. Both women and men value physical attributes, such as age and weight, and reveal that their dating choices are assortative along several traits. Importantly, meeting opportunities are found to have a substantial role in determining dating proposals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-507
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Human Resources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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