Friday, June 15, 2007

The Cost of Multiracial Love

The Best Things In Life Are Free, goes the conventional wisdom. That should include Love, surely one of the best things in life.

Not so apparently in the USA, in the case of men wishing for success with women of a different ethnicity.

A joint MIT and University of Chicago study (What makes you click - Mate Preferences and Matching Outcomes in Online Dating by Gunter Hitsch and Ali Hortacsu) has actually spent a lot of academic time on researching the amount of additional income a man needs to date a woman of a different ethnic background in America.
Anyway, the findings are that (taking an income of $ 62,500 per annum as the base), significant increments are needed for trans ethnic dating in many instances.

For example, the study says, for equal success with White Women, a White Man needs 0 incremental factor over $62,500. However, an additional $154,000 is needed by a Black Man to date a white woman, i.e., an income p.a. of $62,500 + $154,000 = $ 216,500.

A Hispanic man, on the other hand, needs only $ 77,000 more than $62,500 to achieve success with a White Woman.

Now comes the bad news. Asian men apparently need a whopping $247,000 more than the base of $62,500 to win a White woman !

Further bad news for Asians. According to the study, Asian women will accept a discount of - $24,000 if wooed by White men, so they are apparently easy preys to White men earning only $ 38,500 per annum ! On the other hand, they require - according to the study - an incremental $ 30,000 from Hispanic men.

I am not sure how the field work was conducted between MIT and the University of Chicago. Hopefully it was a lot of fun for the research team, but presumably expensive if the wrong ethnic combination was involved. Perhaps the academics on our blogsite can enlighten.

Long live Academic Research !


ishani said...

While I am no authority on research methodology - this fun post definitely brought to mind Mira Nair's Mississipi Masala. Are South Asians dating African Americans in the US these days?

academic-on-the-blog said...

At one level this is a ridiculous waste of research resources. At another level a good marketing idea for academic research. At a third level, just sad .. why noy spell out what the real implications of this are.. that racism reigns supreme where business negotiations are concerned. This is not really about love at all but identifying a marketing strategy for cashing in on 'diversity' ...

Kaisar Ahmad said...

Dear Academic-on-the-blog, you may be right, it does seem a waste of academic time but for the fact that the institutions are no less than MIT and the U. of Chicago. Two prestigious institutions, presumably two fellowships involved. As to the methodology, thos interested can go to the actual research paper