Effects of Online Dating Platforms On Marital and Health Outcomes

Pinar Yildirim, Marketing, The Wharton School

Abstract: This project aims to estimate how the usage of online dating platforms in the United States has impacted high-level relationship outcomes (e.g., marriage and divorce rates, time to marry and stay married) as well as user mental and physical health. To estimate the causal impact of online dating platform usage on such outcomes, we use variation in the penetration of online dating apps and websites across locations (e.g., counties). The idea is the following: in locations where we see a large increase in the usage of online dating platforms, how do relationship outcomes change in the following year?