Aspects of Arranged Marriages and the Theory of Markov Decision Processes

Theory and Decision 45 (3):241-253 (1998)
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Abstract

The theory of Markov decision processes (MDP) can be used to analyze a wide variety of stopping time problems in economics. In this paper, the nature of such problems is discussed and then the underlying theory is applied to the question of arranged marriages. We construct a stylized model of arranged marriages and, inter alia, it is shown that a decision maker's optimal policy depends only on the nature of the current marriage proposal, independent of whether there is recall (storage) of previous marriage proposals.

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