Dating game economist
As a special treat for a Valentine’s Day, we gathered a small collection of articles and blog posts about how economists approach love and how dating can be explained using a more scientific approach.
Before looking at them into detail though, you might want to have a look at the paper by Matthew E.
Image Credit: Liz Fosslien Have you ever considered dating an economist, and if yes, what did you decide?
Surprisingly for some, many of their assumptions might turn out true.
One way to view the problem is as a tragedy of the commons, where users acting in their (narrow) self-interest over-exploit a shared resource and therefore harm the common good, ultimately harming themselves.
The classic example is overfishing: each individual fisherman is tempted to harvest the ocean just a little bit more, and improve his current catch, but if all the fishermen do so then the piscine population plummets and everyone suffers in the long run.
In the case of online dating, the “shared resource” is women users’ attention: if every man “overfishes” then the women’s attention (and patience) runs out, and the women abandon the app altogether.
The men (let alone the women) would benefit from a collective agreement to each send fewer and higher-quality messages, but have no way to co-ordinate such an agreement.