Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 265–297 | Cite as

The impact of Internet diffusion on marriage rates: evidence from the broadband market

  • Andriana BellouEmail author
Original Paper


The Internet has the potential to reduce search frictions by allowing individuals to identify faster a larger set of available options that conform to their preferences. One market that stands to benefit from this process is that of marriage. This paper empirically examines the implications of Internet diffusion in the USA since the 1990s on one aspect of this market—marriage rates. Exploring sharp temporal and geographic variation in the pattern of consumer broadband adoption, I find that the latter has significantly contributed to increased marriage rates among 21–30 year-old individuals. A number of tests suggest that this relationship is causal and that it varies across demographic groups potentially facing thinner marriage markets. I also provide some suggestive evidence that Internet has likely crowded out other traditional meeting venues, such as through family and friends.


Internet Broadband Marriage Search 

JEL Classification

J11 J12 D12 R11 O33 



I would like to thank two anonymous referees, Rachana Bhatt, and seminar participants at the University of Montreal and the 2010 CEA meeting for their helpful comments. Funding from the Alexander Onassis Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

148_2014_527_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (223 kb)
(PDF 222 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département de Sciences ÉconomiquesUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.CIREQMontrealCanada
  3. 3.CIRANOMontrealCanada
  4. 4.IZABonnGermany

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