Friday, November 12, 2010

Let's talk about sex

No date for the weekend?Feeling a bit desperate? This NBER paper (No. 16517) tells you what you need to know (who says economics isn't useful?).
Terms of Endearment: An Equilibrium Model of Sex and Matching
Peter Arcidiacono, Andrew W. Beauchamp, Marjorie B. McElroy

We develop a directed search model of relationship formation which can disentangle male and female preferences for types of partners and for different relationship terms using only a cross-section of observed matches. Individuals direct their search to a particular type of match on the basis of (i) the terms of the relationship, (ii) the type of partner, and (iii) the endogenously determined probability of matching. If men outnumber women, they tend to trade a low probability of a preferred match for a high probability of a less-preferred match; the analogous statement holds for women. Using data from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health we estimate the equilibrium matching model with high school relationships. Variation in gender ratios is used to uncover male and female preferences. Estimates from the structural model match subjective data on whether sex would occur in one's ideal relationship. The equilibrium result shows that some women would ideally not have sex, but do so out of matching concerns; the reverse is true for men.


Martin Ryan said...

Single readers may also find this piece of data-visualisation useful for planning their nights out in advance:

Facebook Status Updates Tell the Story of Romance Gone Awry

"McCandless whipped out the chart during a TED talk this past summer. Apparently, he and his team scraped 10,000 status updates for the phrases “break up” and “broken up,” and made the following discoveries: 1). A ton of people break up before social occasions like Spring Break and the summer, 2). Mondays aren’t just the start of the work week — there’re the end of many a relationship, 3). People have the decency not to dump their significant others on Christmas Day."

Kevin Denny said...

-also of interest to potentially-non-single people.

Liam Delaney said...

Cool - another post that will direct weird traffic toward the blog. For about a year one of the ten most common reasons people winded up on this blog was because I had written a post about a paper showing the effects of magic mushrooms and when you typed "magic mushrooms ireland" the post used to come up.

Kevin Denny said...

I'm glad you thought it was a good idea too.