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Targeted Search in Matching Markets

We propose a search and matching model where agents can choose who to meet but have to pay a search cost to locate potential matches more accurately. The model features a tension between an agent''''s desire to find a more productive match and to maximize the odds that interest is mutual. This tension drives a wedge between the shape of sorting patterns and the shape of the underlying match payoff function, allowing for better empirical identification of preferences. We show the empirical relevance of our model by applying it to the U.S. marriage market.

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