Does Online Dating Save You Money?

Our recent podcast, "What You Don't Know About Online Dating," offered an economist’s guide to dating online. Here's one more perk: a report by CovergEx Group estimates that online dating is more cost-efficient than traditional dating. From Business Insider

The ConvergEx folks, using data from statisticbrain.com, note the average courtship time for “off-line,” traditional dating ahead of a marriage runs around 42 months – or two years longer than the 18.5-month, average dating-to-marriage cycle for people who meet online.

And using that data, they came up with a formula.

Explaining Love

Following my #lovedata challenge this morning, the first few attempts at explaining love around the world are already trickling in.

But first, the finding that blew my mind. Commenter Renars pointed out that the very data I had plotted---the proportion of people feeling love in a country on a typical day, versus a measure of GDP per capita (a measure of average income)--form a heart-shaped cloud. Really. Take a closer look at it. This may be the most amazing chart I've ever drawn.

Happy Valentine's Day (a Cautionary Tale)

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a webcomic by Zach Weinersmith (well done, Zach!).

Crunching the Numbers on Love

I've spent the last few days crunching data from the largest-ever international survey of love.  Specifically, in 2006 and 2007, the Gallup World Poll went to 136 countries around the world and asked people, "Did you experience love for a lot of the day yesterday?" Betsey Stevenson and I report our initial analysis of the data in our latest column.  A snippet:

The good news: Ours is a loving world. On a typical day, about 70 percent of people worldwide reported a love-filled day. In the U.S., 81 percent felt love... Across the world as a whole, the widowed and divorced are the least likely to experience love. Married folks feel more of it than singles. People who live together out of wedlock report getting even more love than married spouses... If you’re young and not feeling all that loved this Valentine’s Day, don’t despair: You’re not alone. Young adults are among the least likely to experience love. It gets better with age, ultimately peaking in the mid-30s or mid-40s in most countries before fading again into the twilight years.

A Chance to Date One of The Most Eligible Bachelorettes in Chicago

We’ve had this blog for seven years.  This is the first time I have ever tried to use it play cupid.

Here’s the deal.  I have a close friend here in Chicago.  She is in her late twenties.  She is really smart. She has an extremely successful career.  She is incredibly pretty.

Here is a true story.  The first time my wife Jeannette met this friend, she was so shocked by my friend’s beauty that her jaw went slack, and she temporarily lost the ability to speak.  My wife later described her as the most beautiful woman she had ever seen in person.

Why, if she is so great, is she still single?  I don’t have a good explanation.  Partly, she works really hard so she doesn’t have that much opportunity to meet people.  Also, I suspect a lot of potential suitors are intimidated by her – I know I would have been.  She’s got a Ph.D. from a top university, she’s on top of the world professionally, she’s pretty. A man would need to be very self-confident to ask her out.

Pop Culture Introspection, Part II: What Do Hip-Hop/Pop Song Mash-ups Teach Us?

Every once in a while, there is a mash-up that combines a pop-type song with a hip-hop add-on.  I’m not talking about songs like the odd new B.O.B./Taylor Swift duet, but rather, songs that exist on their own, and then get a hip-hop upgrade.

I’m sure there are many examples, but there are only two that I can think of off the top of my head.

The first is "Numb/Encore", in which a popular Linkin Park song (“Numb”) gets Jay-Z lyrics laid over it.  Here are they lyrics from the original Linkin Park song "Numb":

I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless lost under the surface
Don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
And every second I waste is more than I can take

I've become so numb I can't feel you there
I've become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you

Compare the adolescent angst of those lyrics with the words that Jay-Z lays over it such as:

Economics and Open Marriage

I have to admit that it counts as one of the more bizarre requests of my scholarly life.  After all, I’m just a straight-laced economist. But in light of the Gingrich affair — (which one? the one involving his wife’s accusation that he asked for an open marriage) — the New York Times Room for Debate section asked Betsey Stevenson and me to give an economist’s perspective on open marriage. 

Addicted to Love

When I asked my students for examples of diminishing marginal utility, one wiseguy freshman stated, "Time with my girlfriends after a relationship of five months-I drop them after that." (I should have told him that it's hard to distinguish quits from layoffs, but I wasn't fast enough on my feet!)

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.

Gary Becker Thinks the Most Addictive Thing Is …

Over 600 blog readers took a shot at guessing what Gary Becker thinks the most addictive thing on Earth is. Lots of folks threw out things like crack and caffeine, but do you really think I’m going to offer a blog quiz with an obvious answer? While not the answer I was looking for, there […]