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Probabilities Involved with Arranged Marriages through Online Dating/Matrimonial Sites

In many countries, individually meeting and selecting a life partner is not the norm.  Rather, families will introduce their sons or daughters to potential mates and be very involved in the whole process.  With the advent of the technological age, however, the internet has provided access to online dating and matrimonial sites, allowing people from all over the world to adopt an unconventional form of arranged marriage.  Dating sites such as Match.come or eharmony facilitate dating or meeting a potential partner by selecting potential fits for a user, based on many criteria that the user inputs into the system.  The success rate of these websites is one to be analyzed.

A study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics in 2008 analyzed statistics from a French matchmaking Agency to investigate the probability of finding the right partner through the services of a matchmaking agency.  Empirical results show that contrary to what might be popular belief, it is not necessary for a user to set up many meetings in order to increase his or her likelihood of finding the “right” partner.  Rather, it is more important for a user to portray a demand for certain traits in his or her desired partner.  Of course, in order for this demand to be met, the user himself must have some rare characteristics that make him stand out from the rest of the pool.  Various parameters were also analyzed, including age, physical appearance, education level, number of children, prior marriage status, etc.

While results were often subjective, models were used to predict outcomes.  It was found that the only significant effect was that male clients who demanded specific physical features met a higher number of women than others and that females who required a specific career in their partner did not meet many men.  Empirical results illustrated that prior marriage status and the presence of dependent children are negative characteristics in a client, and thus such clients had fewer meetings and had higher difficulties meeting a partner.


Citation: Vaillant 2008, “Determinants of the likelihood of finding the right partner in an arranged marriage: Evidence from a French matchmaking agency”

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