Optimizing the marriage market: an application of the linear assignment model

N V Cao, Emmanuel Fragniere, J A Gauthier, M Sapin, E D Widmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research shows that the success of marriages and other intimate partnerships depends on objective attributes such as differences in age, cultural background, and educational level. This article proposes a mathematical approach to optimizing marriage by allocating spouses in such a way as to reduce the likelihood of divorce or separation. To produce our optimization model, we use the assumption of a central "agency" that would coordinate the matching of couples. Based on a representative and longitudinal sample of 1074 cohabiting and married couples living in Switzerland, we estimate various objective functions corresponding to age, education, ethnicity, and prior divorce concerning every possible combination of men and women. Our results show that the current state of marriages or partnerships is well below the social Optimum. We reallocate approximately 68% of individuals (7 out of 10) to a new couple that we posit has a higher likelihood of survival. From this selection of new partners, we obtain our final "optimal" solutions, with a 21% reduction in the objective function. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
LanguageEnglish
Pages547-553
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Volume202
Issue number2
Early online date17 Jun 2009
DOIs
StatusPublished - 16 Apr 2010

Fingerprint

Likelihood
Assignment
Objective function
Optimization Model
Optimal Solution
Education
Attribute
Model
Estimate
Market
Partnership
Marriage
Marriage market
Assignment model
Divorce
Background
Optimal solution
Ethnic groups
Social optimum
Optimization model

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • couples matching
  • Divorce
  • Linear assignment model
  • Marriage market
  • societal problem analysis

Cite this

Optimizing the marriage market: an application of the linear assignment model. / Cao, N V; Fragniere, Emmanuel; Gauthier, J A; Sapin, M; Widmer, E D.

In: European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 202, No. 2, 16.04.2010, p. 547-553.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Cao, N V ; Fragniere, Emmanuel ; Gauthier, J A ; Sapin, M ; Widmer, E D. / Optimizing the marriage market: an application of the linear assignment model. In: European Journal of Operational Research. 2010 ; Vol. 202, No. 2. pp. 547-553.
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