Economics dating sites
Editor’s Note: With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we decided to revisit a piece Making Sen$e did on the world of online dating. Making Sen$e airs every Thursday on the PBS News Hour.Last year, economics correspondent Paul Solman and producer Lee Koromvokis spoke with labor economist Paul Oyer, author of the book “Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating.” It turns out, the dating pool isn’t that different from any other market, and a number of economic principles can readily be applied to online dating. — Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Paul Oyer: So I found myself back in the dating market in the fall of 2010, and since I’d last been on the market, I’d become an economist, and online dating had arisen.Well, from an economist’s perspective, I was ignoring what we call “statistical discrimination.” And so, people see that you’re separated, and they assume a lot more than just that.I just thought, “I’m separated, I’m happy, I’m ready to look for a new relationship,” but a lot of people assume if you’re separated, you’re either not really — that you may go back to your former spouse — or that you’re an emotional wreck, that you’re just getting over the breakup of your marriage and so forth.But that’s when Strayed and Almond brought in Stanford economics professor Paul Oyer, whose 2014 book Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating chronicled his return to the dating scene as a single, 50-year-old man, which he came to understand as being much like the markets he’d spent a career studying.
Strayed and Almond mentioned that they’ve recently gotten a steady stream of similar letters from unhappy single women who argue that “all the emotionally available men are spokenfor.” Listening to the show, it sounded at first like your typical advice-column stuff, and like some of those fears must be overblown.But both firms and workers have incentives to find the perfect version of the other, which can lead to unemployment.Oyer carries this metaphor over to people who are holding out for their soul mate, calling them “romantically unemployed.” He suggests flipping the narrative from “settling” for someone who isn’t perfect to finding a partner “who is really great,” he said. Eligible men are indeed scarcer than available women, especially in major cities.So naively just saying, “Hey, I’m ready for a new relationship,” or whatever I wrote in my profile, I got a lot of notices from women saying things like, “You look like the type of person I would like to date, but I don’t date people until they’re further away from their past relationship.” So that’s one mistake.If it had dragged on for years and years, it would have gotten really tiresome.