How relationships form and how they impact the world to be studied in NSF project

The formation of relationships – everything from business to romantic partnerships – and how they impact the world will be the focus of a new Rice University research project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Jeremy Fox

“Repeated Matching Games: An Empirical Framework” received a $264,000 grant from the NSF. Jeremy Fox, the Shatto Endowed Chair of Economics at Rice, is the principal investigator for the three-year research project.

Fox will develop a new framework for how personal, professional and financial relationships form, how relationships end and how new relationships form over time. Working with researchers at other universities, Fox will create a framework for modeling the evolution of what economists call “matching markets.”

His evaluation of marital matches will examine how marriage, divorce and remarriage are affected by children and job choices. Examining the business world, he will study engineers’ careers to learn how job assignments and movement within an organization affect promotions to more prestigious positions. Finally, he will look at how early rounds of venture capital funding, including participation in accelerators, raise a startup’s chance of receiving later rounds of funding and ultimately succeeding.

Fox said there is very little research in the area of modeling how relationships end and new relationships form. He hopes the project will shed light on how personal and professional matches impact the world, influencing everything from financial markets to wealth and gender inequality to educational and business outcomes.

The project will include a number of papers outlining the study findings, which will be submitted for publication to peer-reviewed journals.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.