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"And the more I talked to people, the more I heard that they'd met their partners on Tinder and other sites." After reviewing data on how various kinds of relationships were forming in the wake on online dating, Ortega said, "It seemed like it was changing not just the number of interracial marriages, but also how we meet our spouses, and having other big consequences." So Ortega, an economics lecturer at the University of Essex, and Hergovich, who's pursuing a Ph D in economics at the University of Vienna, decided to test their hypotheses on how the internet has changed modern dating by crunching the numbers.To investigate the effects of online dating over time, they developed a theoretical framework and mathematical models which harnessed previous such exercises, decades' worth of data, and good old game-theoretic stability.In response to the rise of online dating, economists Josué Ortega and Philipp Hergovich recently set out to examine its effects on society as reflected in the data on how our marriages and relationships are forming.I started reading about it, and was really surprised to find it’s very popular in the UK and US, because there’s this sense that Tinder and other platforms are just for hookups," Ortega said."When I came across the statistic that one third of marriages start online, and 70% of gay relationships, I was shocked," he said.
“With eharmony, you’re meeting somebody who’s truly right for you.” ~ Amy Long “From our first date, I realized that this is somebody that I want to spend the rest of my life with.The team also sought to account for other potential factors, such as rising Asian and Hispanic populations in the US.Using this framework, they then successfully demonstrated through 10,000 simulations that adding online dating to our traditional partnering patterns--which rely heavily on people we already know, and who are often ethnically similar to us--could help explain the recent greater-than-predicted rise in interracial marriages. With the help of researchers and data hounds across several continents, they concluded, "When a society benefits from previously absent ties, social integration occurs rapidly, even if the number of partners met online is small ... marriages over time, including rises from the projected increase surrounding the creation of Match.com, Ok Cupid, and Tinder.Hergovich commented by email that as intriguing as he and his colleagues found their work to be, "none of us saw that [public attention] coming." He continued, "Working with a close friend is always fun, but the big media echo surprised me.When I saw our names in the print version of the Ortega said their work has received media interest reaching from Australia and the UK to Japan and Peru, but that he's also seen a number of heartening, very personal responses to their findings.
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