Beauty–status exchange in mate selection in China

Wen Liu, Jia Yu, Yu Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The status exchange hypothesis of union formation has been extensively examined in different societies. In this study, we explore beauty–status exchange in mate selection in China. Based on the 2010–2018 waves of the China Family Panel Studies, we apply a new method that directly estimates the magnitude of exchange by considering beauty–status intermarriage as a treatment. Our results show that in China women exchange attractive appearance for men's higher socioeconomic status, but men's physical attractiveness does not exchange for women's higher socioeconomic status. Heterogeneity analysis reveals that the traditional marriage exchange pattern of “wife's beauty matching with husband's talent” mainly persists among women with lower levels of education and from families of lower socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100872
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
StatePublished - Feb 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Beauty
  • China
  • Marital exchange
  • Socioeconomic status


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