An Empirical Investigation of Online Dating as a Marketplace
This is my bachelor's thesis LaTeX project from 2018. A compiled version can be found here.
This thesis explores the efficiency gains in partner markets deriving from the diffusion of online dating. Following an introduction on its principles and functioning, we apply a rational choice approach to assess the consequences of online dating on mate choice processes from a theoretical standpoint. To give an illustration of the concept of competition for attention, and of the logics of exchange, network externalities, supply and demand, we take advantage of the “marketplace” metaphor. An empirical analysis on Pew Research Center’s “Gaming, Jobs and Broadband” 2015 data set is run to test two hypotheses on the usage of online dating. Results are then discussed in the light of prior extensive research. We find that those who are more likely to be online daters are mostly young White males, with above-average socioeconomic status, a university degree and more liberal views. Thus, based solely on the available data, we dismiss the hypothesis of the primacy of online dating for those in a thin market for potential partners.