Explaining the flight of Cupid's arrow: a spatial micro model of partner choice

Karen Haandrikman, University of Groningen
Leo van Wissen, University of Groningen

Spatial homogamy may be defined as: everyone may be attracted to everyone else, but near candidates are more attractive than distant candidates. In this paper we propose a model of partner choice, where homogamy is defined in terms of demographic, socio-economic, cultural and spatial similarity. A spatial choice model using random utility theory is formulated, taking into account a relaxation of the independence from the irrelevant alternatives property. Unique micro data on all new cohabiters in the Netherlands in 2004 is used, including demographic, socio-economic, educational and spatial attributes. The model is estimated for a random sample of all cohabiters, and for a number of subpopulations, segmented by place of origin. The coefficients of the models reflect the degree to which partners take into account (dis)similarity in choosing each other.

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Presented in Session 57: Spatial Differentials in Population Processes