An Economist Thinking About Love

Economists see markets at play everywhere. Even in your romantic life. Indeed, I’m one of the worst guests that you can invite to your wedding. Why? Because while most of your guests are listening for your love story, I’m listening for your contract. While others see a romantic courtship leading to the altar, I see people who are satisfied enough to stop searching for someone else.

Searching for a spouse is very similar to searching for a job. There is not one perfect job for each of us, but there are clearly better and worse jobs. So we hunt, for a spouse and a job. When do we stop? When the offer in the hand is better than the likely offer in the bush.

At a wedding I see a relationship that is good enough to settle down and start investing in. If you get a reasonable rate of return, investment in your relationship will make it truly better than any other relationship you could have.

I once tried to formulate a function to explain why I prefer girl A much more to girl B, and also employ marginal analysis to groud my stance ‘rationaly’. Nonetheless, this was no worse than nutritionist tastes every ambrosia with frigid tube.

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http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/an-economist-thinking-about-love/

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