Saturday, May 18, 2013

Marriage and the Internet

Is the internet helping people to find spouses? From Wonkblog:
In fact, the study notes, marriage rates are between 13 percent and 30 percent higher than they’d be without the advent of broadband technology. The basic intuition here is that stuff like online dating makes it easier for people to find potential partners — or, as University of Montreal economist Andriana Bellou puts it, the Internet “has the potential to reduce search frictions.” That’s not utterly implausible. Researchers have already noted that the Internet allows us to find jobs and homes more easily. Why not spouses?

To test this out, Bellou exploits the fact that broadband arrived in the United States unevenly during the 1990s and 2000s. And she compares the rates of adoption trends with Current Population Survey data on marriage rates for Americans aged 21-30. What she found was that “marriage rates grew on average more in states with greater increases in broadband penetration.” The data is awfully messy, but there does seem to be a correlation...(Read entire article.)

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