2021

Brains or Beauty? Causal Evidence on the Returns to Education and Attractiveness in the Online Dating Market

Reprint No. 2021:23

Author(s): Johan Egebark, Mattias Ekström, Erik Plug and Mirjam van PraagYear: 2021 Title: Journal of Public Economics Volume (No.): 196 (April)
Online article (restrictions may apply)


We study partner preferences for education and attractiveness by conducting a field experiment in a large online dating market. Fictitious profiles with manipulated levels of education and photo attractiveness send random invitations for a serious relationship to real online daters. We find that men and women prefer attractive over unattractive profiles, regardless of own attractiveness. We also find that high-educated men prefer low-educated over high-educated profiles as much as high-educated women prefer high-educated over low-educated profiles. With preferences similar for attractiveness but opposite for education, two groups are more likely to stay single: unattractive, low-educated men and unattractive, high-educated women.


Reference:
Egebark, Johan, Mattias Ekström, Erik Plug and Mirjam van Praag (2021), "Brains or Beauty? Causal Evidence on the Returns to Education and Attractiveness in the Online Dating Market". Journal of Public Economics 196(April), 104372.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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