When your co-author is your colleague and also your significant other, confusion often follows. Take this recent post by Arnold Kling on the causes of inequality, where he says:
I think that Betsey Stevenson/Justin Wolfers marriages are another big factor. That is, when highly educated men start looking for wives who are stimulating companions as opposed to kitchen-floor moppers, this reduces cross-class marriages and thereby raises inequality.
I’m flattered by the cite. I think. And so is Betsey (she thinks). But we’re not sure how flattered to be.
Which Betsey Stevenson was Arnold referring to?
Most likely, he’s referring to my co-author Betsey Stevenson, and this is a reference to the Stevenson-Wolfers theory describing the new era of hedonic marriage. More entertainingly, perhaps he’s referring to my significant other, Betsey Stevenson. She’s no “kitchen-floor mopper,” and so he is describing the rise of relationships like ours — relationships between intellectual equals.
Or finally, he could be referring to my marriage to Betsey Stevenson. That is, he’s referring to non-marriages. Betsey and I have learned that couples can form healthy unions without the default contract offered through formal marriage.