Using novel data on peerage marriages in Britain, I find that low search costs and marriage-market segregation can generate sorting. Peers courted in the London Season, a matching technology introducing aristocratic bachelors to debutantes. When Queen Victoria went into mourning for her husband, the Season was interrupted (1861–1863), raising search costs and reducing market segregation. I exploit exogenous variation in women's probability to marry during the interruption from their age in 1861. The interruption increased peer-commoner intermarriage by 40 percent and reduced sorting along landed wealth by 30 percent. Eventually, this reduced peers' political power and affected public policy in late nineteenth-century England.
"Assortative Matching at the Top of the Distribution: Evidence from the World's Most Exclusive Marriage Market."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: Europe: Pre-1913