Dating economist perspective
We just buy one share of whatever company it is or we just buy one ton of soybeans or whatever it is.
But when we’re picking a life partner, everybody’s different. So in an ideal world, we would have the ability to search every single person out there and pick the ideal match.
This week’s episode is called “What You Don’t Know About Online Dating.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at i Tunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.
You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) The episode is, for the most part, an economist’s guide to dating online. ) You’ll hear tips on building the perfect dating profile, and choosing the right site (a “thick market,” like Match.com, or “thin,” like Glutenfree Singles.com? You’ll learn what you should lie about, and what you shouldn’t.
Download this podcast SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR Idea Cast. I’m talking today with Paul Oyer, Professor of Economics at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. SARAH GREEN: So Paul, I’d like to just kick off by talking a little bit about the economic concept of search costs.
He’s the author of the book, Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating. Can you just maybe describe what the concept is and how you’ve applied it to this idea of looking for a life partner?
We lived in Princeton at the same time, but we’d never met each other. As I honestly needed to, I put on my profile that I was separated, because my divorce wasn’t final yet.
And it was only when we went to this marketplace together, which in our case was JDate, that we finally got to know each other. And I suggested that I was newly single and ready to look for another relationship.
First you’ll hear Stephen Dubner interview Alli Reed, a comedy writer living in Los Angeles, who conducted an experiment of sorts on Ok Cupid: So she created a fake profile for a woman she called “Aaron Carter Fan” (Aaron Carter, for the uninitiated, is the younger brother of a Backstreet Boy.) Reed loaded her profile with despicable traits (see the whole list below) but used photos of a model friend. (For more, see Reed’s article “Four Things I Learned from the Worst Online Dating Profile Ever.“) Oyer hadn’t thought much about online dating until he re-entered the dating scene himself after a long absence and was struck by the parallels between the dating markets and labor markets. Vogt opened up his Ok Cupid profile to let Oyer dissect and, theoretically, improve it.In the light of the crisis, there has been renewed interest in Shackle’s work as economists have sought new insights into age-old problems.Indeed, it was this quest that first brought Shackle’s work to my own attention around five years ago.And so when we think about a place where investing and getting what you really want is particularly valuable, it seems like the market for a life partner is hard to beat.So if we just go into some market where everything is commodity, I don’t know, stocks, or bonds, or something like that, we don’t need to do much searching.