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Partnership formation based on multiple traits

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-12, 12:14 authored by David Ramsey
A model of partnership formation based on two traits, called beauty and character, is presented. There are two classes of individual and partners must be of di erent classes. Individuals prefer prospective partners with a high beauty measure and of a similar character. This problem may be interpreted as e.g. a job search problem in which the classes are employer and employee, or a mate choice problem in which the classes are male and female. Beauty can be observed instantly. However, a costly date (or interview) is required to observe the character of a prospective partner. On observing the beauty of a prospective partner, an individual decides whether he/she wishes to date. During a date, the participants observe each other's character and then decide whether to form a pair. Mutual acceptance is required both for a date to occur and pair formation. On nding a partner, an individual stops searching. Beauty has a continuous distribution on a nite interval, while character 'forms a circle' and has a uniform distribution. Criteria based on the concept of a subgame perfect Nash equilibrium are used to de ne a symmetric equilibrium of this game. It is argued that this equilibrium is unique. When dating costs are high, this equilibrium is a block separating equilibrium as in more classical formulations of two-sided job search problems. However, for su ciently small dating costs the form of this equilibrium is essentially different.



European Journal of Operational Research;216 (3), pp. 624-637





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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in European Journal of Operational Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in European Journal of Operational Research, 2012, 216 (3), pp. 624-637,



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