Volume 17 - Article 3 | Pages 59-82

The "Wedding-Ring": An agent-based marriage model based on social interaction

By Francesco Billari, Belinda Aparicio Diaz, Thomas Fent, Alexia Prskawetz

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Date received:14 Nov 2005
Date published:03 Aug 2007
Word count:4224
Keywords:age at marriage, agent-based computational demography, marriage, micro-macro, models, social interaction


In this paper we develop an agent-based marriage model based on social interaction. We build an population of interacting agents whose chances of marrying depend on the availability of partners, and whose willingness to marry depends on the share of relevant others in their social network who are already married. We then let the typical aggregate age pattern of marriage emerge from the bottom-up. The results of our simulation show that micro-level hypotheses founded on existing theory and evidence on social interaction can reproduce age-at-marriage patterns with both realistic shape and realistic micro-level dynamics.

Author's Affiliation

Francesco Billari - Bocconi University, Milan, Italy [Email]
Belinda Aparicio Diaz - Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria [Email]
Thomas Fent - Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria [Email]
Alexia Prskawetz - Vienna University of Technology, Austria [Email]

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