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Propose with a Rose? Signaling in Internet Dating Markets

Soohyung Lee, Muriel Niederle (), Hye-Rim Kim and Woo-Keum Kim

No 17340, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: The large literature on costly signaling and the somewhat scant literature on preference signaling had varying success in showing the effectiveness of signals. We use a field experiment to show that even when everyone can send a signal, signals are free and the only costs are opportunity costs, sending a signal increases the chances of success. In an online dating experiment, participants can attach "virtual roses" to a proposal to signal special interest in another participant. We find that attaching a rose to an offer substantially increases the chance of acceptance. This effect is driven by an increase in the acceptance rate when the offer is made to a participant who is less desirable than the proposer. Furthermore, participants endowed with more roses have more of their offers accepted than their counterparts.

JEL-codes: C78 C93 J0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-exp and nep-gth
Note: LS
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Published as Soohyung Lee & Muriel Niederle, 2015. "Propose with a rose? Signaling in internet dating markets," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 731-755, December.

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Journal Article: Propose with a rose? Signaling in internet dating markets (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Propose with a Rose? Signaling in Internet Dating Markets (2010) Downloads
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