Does the Internet Affect Assortative Mating? Evidence from the U.S. and Germany
The Internet has now become a habitual channel for finding a partner, but little is known about the impact of this recent partnership market on mate selection patterns. This study revisits the supply side perspective on assortative mating by exploring the role played by online venues in breeding educational, racial/ethnic and religious endogamy. It compares couples that met online (through either online dating platforms, Internet social networking, Internet gaming website, Internet chat, Internet community, etc.) to those that met through various offline contexts of interaction. Using unique data from the U.S. for the year 2009 and data from Germany collected between 2008 and 2014, I run log-multiplicative models that allow for the strength of partners’ association to vary along meeting settings. Results reveal that the Internet promotes weaker couple endogamy compared to conventional contexts typically known to foster endogamy, such as school, family, friends, or religious venues.