DP4939 Marriage and the City

Author(s): Pieter A. Gautier, Michael Svarer, Coen N Teulings
Publication Date: March 2005
Keyword(s): city, marriage, mobility, search
JEL(s): J12, J64
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=4939

Do people move to cities because of marriage market considerations? In cities singles can meet more potential partners than in rural areas. Singles are therefore prepared to pay a premium in terms of higher housing prices. Once married, the marriage market benefits disappear while the housing premium remains. We extend the model of Burdett and Coles (1997) with a distinction between efficient (cities) and less efficient (non-cities) search markets. One implication of the model is that singles are more likely to move from rural areas to cities while married couples are more likely to make the reverse movement. A second prediction of the model is that attractive singles benefit most from a dense market (i.e. from being choosy). Those predictions are tested with a unique Danish dataset.