This paper takes Becker's efficient marriage market hypothesis at face value, and directly confronts it with data from Hong Kong. The theory of optimal assignment is used to develop an empirical model of spouse selection, which resembles a Tobit model. This model can address positive or negative assortative matching as well as marginal product pricing in marriage markets. We also use a computer algorithm to solve the assignment problem for imputed marital output. The degree to which the actual pairing of husbands and wives corresponds to the optimal pairing provides a goodness-of-fit test of the efficient marriage market hypothesis.
Copyright © Western Economic Association International 1999
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