The Austin Institutes video, titled the Economics of Sex, pretends to use market theory to explain why marriage rates have fallen over time. The sweetness of the video nearly disguises the bitter pill hidden in all the sugar—the underlying message is that only when women who engage in premarital sex are punished will relationships return to their previously healthy state
Of the 17 completed seasons of The Bachelor, eight relationships ended in a matter of weeks and another five were over before their first anniversary. In the absence of male competition, choosing a woman based on her suitability for a short-term relationship might be the best strategy for a single man, but it makes for lousy television.
When the calculating costs of having children should we also include the cost of losing the love of our spouse? New research suggests we should; the addition of children to a family reduces the perception of being loved by both women and men. The more children born into the family, the less loved wives, in particular, feel.
If you are single, with no intention of ever marrying, then what exactly is the long term plan? I don’t just mean in terms of who is going to take care of you when you can no longer take care of yourself, but how are you planning to afford old age?
Some argue that giving men the option to deny child support will improve the economic conditions of women and children. That claim might seem counter-intuitive, but the argument is entirely consistent with economic theory. The problem is, the way that people behave “in theory” is often quite different from the way they behave when faced with real life choices.
We rely on surveys that ask people to describe their behavior and beliefs, but evidence suggests that even when surveys are conducted anonymously and privately, participants bias their answers towards prevailing social norms.
You know that moment in a relationship when you realize that it probably isn’t going to last? I had such a moment many years ago when the man I was dating revealed something to me that I knew would eventually be the death of us. He told me that despite having owned his own home for fourteen years he had opted to never pay down a single cent of his mortgage.
Do we measure the harm inflicted on a rape victim as, in part, a function of her value on the marriage market at time of the rape? It’s an important question, since when we measure harm this way we treat women who have been raped as “damaged goods” – and assume that men see them as having a lower value on the market for marriage.
“If basic needs are not satisfied, human beings cannot function”, according to economist Nick Drydakis in a working paper that tests his hypothesis that workers who have sex more frequently are better workers and, as a result, are rewarded with higher wages.
The modern slut-shamming culture is the remnant of an historic economic environment that encouraged women to signal virtue and, erroneously, perpetuated the belief that the only reason women have sex is in order to secure resources from men.
Recently I had the pleasure of presenting at the ideacity conference in Toronto on the economic markets for sex and love. In that talk, I shared my belief that the benefits of being able to search for love on a large market outweighs the costs in terms of martial infidelity. New research supports that view; couples that meet online seem to have happier marriages.
Recently I bought a book that says the secret to finding love is to ask all your acquaintances to hand over the contact information every single they know. Is there potential to create a coordinatied market in which such contact information is profitably bought and sold? Not likely, according to new research that tests the endowment effect in a market for dating.
Age-of-consent laws impose high costs in terms of the personal hardship on the youth caught up in their enforcement. So there must be pretty good evidence that younger teens are less capable of making healthily sexual decisions than are slightly older teens not under the protection of the laws, right?
According to the NRF, expected spending on Mother's Day has increased 20% in the last decade. That might lead some observers to speculate that the holiday is becoming increasingly commercialized. In reality, however, this increase in spending is the predictable result of an aging population that still likes to make the second Sunday in May a special day for their mothers.
New research shows that each additional year of education reduces self reported sex life satisfaction. The argument is that well educated people don't have time to waste on mind-blowing sex. I suspect, however, that the true story has more to do with the ability of well-educated couples to co-ordinate their schedules in a way that leaves both sexually satisfied.
Two men are observationally identical and yet one earns 16% less than the other. Why? Because the lower income earning man has, at some point in the last five years, had sex with another man. That might sound like evidence of workplace discrimination, but new research argues that gay men are trading off higher salaries in favor working in more tolerant firms.