IZA DP No. 1491: Marriage and the City
published in: Journal of Urban Economics, 2010, 67 (2), 206-218
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.