Online dating tips from the world of economics

Gabriella Griffith
HAVE you ever turned to the neoclassical synthesis or the efficient markets hypothesis to help you to find love?

We’d wager not, but having spent some time on, Stanford professor Paul Oyer has written a book: Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating.

Whether you believe Keynesianism can help you find love or not – here are four economic theories which could help you if you’re looking for the one:
1 Thick Market Effect: The more options there are in a market the more likely a buyer or seller is to find a match. Dating lesson? If you want something specific – go to a bigger search area.

2 Adverse Selection: This is the theory around the danger of hidden information. It applies to buying cars, employing people and picking people out on dating sites. Dating lesson? Someone who has been on a dating site a long time is likely to have something to hide and is therefore best avoided.

3 Signalling: This economic theory is about credibly conveying something about yourself to someone. When it comes to online dating, you might tell someone you’re very interested but it’s hard to prove. Oyer’s advice is to go all out on the first date – wear nice clothes, pay the bill, tip well.

4 Search theory: This is about whether to accept the best option available or to keep looking for something. Oyer is quick to remind readers there is no such thing as the perfect mate. “At some point stop and love the one you’re with.”