Racing for Dollars

Men are more open to dating women of another race than women, but you can even the score with money.

A Columbia study of 400 students in speed dating sessions concluded: “Women of all races exhibit strong same race preferences, while men of no race exhibit a statistically significant same race preference.”

Another University of Chicago and MIT study of 22,000 online daters found women preferred same race relationships 2:1 over men: 38% of women and 18% of men prefer same race dates. The study also computed tradeoffs between a partner’s attributes.

For equal success with a white woman an African American man needs to earn $154,000 more than a white man. Hispanic men need an additional $77,000 and Asian men $247,000. “In contrast to men, women mostly cannot compensate for their ethnicity with a higher income.”

Table shows additional annual income that a man needs to compensate for his ethnicity if he wants to date a partner of a different ethnic group. Baselines incomes are $62,500 for men. For example, an Asian man wanting to date a White woman would need to make an additional $247,000 (i.e. $309,500) a year to be as desirable as a White man who earns $62,500.


For EqualAdditional Income Needed 
Success Withby White MenBy Black MenBy Hispanic MenBy Asian Men
White Women0 $154,000 $77,000 $247,000
Black Women$220,000 0 $184,000 –
Hispanic Women$59,000 $30,000 0 –
Asian Women$-24,000 0 $28,000 0

Source: “What Makes You Click- Mate Preferences and Matching Outcomes in Online Dating,” by Gunter Hitsch and Ali Hortacsu of the University of Chicago and Dan Ariely of MIT.


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