When searching for a mate online, singles are more likely to initiate contact with other online singles who are more attractive than themselves. When the market clears, so to speak, individuals in couples tend to be very similar to each other in terms of attractiveness. While there are a variety of theories as to why this happens, the HotorNot.com paper we talked about on Monday tests two possible theories and finds that at this “associative mating” outcome is driven by market forces.
Tag: beauty (Page 2 of 2)
I have theory, it is a personal theory not quite backed up by empirical evidence, that one of the reasons so many people are single is that they are poor judges of their position on the dating market. If you read online dating profiles, you often see that people write: “I’m not willing to settle, and neither should you.” This suggests that people have estimated the quality of mate that they should be able to attract and are unwilling to “settle” for anything less.
For years I have been one puzzled by one observation, when it comes to the men I know in my profession (economics professors): The rating that students give them on the website www.ratemyprofessors.com as to whether they are hot (or not) has little correlation with own my personal assessment of their hotness.
The dating website eHarmony had a free weekend last week, or so I was told by a friend who was presumably trying to be helpful. Economists find dating websites extremely useful, not to find the love of their lives (although they might be doing that) but because they provide an opportunity to observe a fascinating market in action: the market for marriage. From this market we can determine what individual preferences are for a mate, and this can be extremely useful in economic analysis.