This note studies the empirical content of a simple marriage matching model with transferable utility, based on Becker (J Polit Econ 81:813–846, 1973). Under Becker’s conditions, the equilibrium matching is unique and assortative. However, this note shows that when the researcher only observes a subset of relevant characteristics, the unique assortative matching does not uniquely determine a distribution of observed characteristics. This precludes standard approaches to point estimation of the underlying model parameters. We propose a solution to this problem, based on the idea of “random matching.”
Beckerian marriage model Assortative matching Indeterminacy Random matching
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