“This is one of the biggest problems that humans face and one of the first times in human history there was some innovation,” says Michael Norton, a psychologist at Harvard Business School.
Finding the right partner, whether for life or for Saturday night, is so important to so many people that you would think we might have cracked it by now.
Economics correspondent Paul Solman and Making Sen$e producer Lee Koromvokis spoke with labor economist Paul Oyer, author of the book “Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating.” Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters/Illustration Editor’s Note: With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we decided to revisit a piece Making Sen$e did on the world of online dating. Making Sen$e airs every Thursday on the PBS News Hour.
Last year, economics correspondent Paul Solman and producer Lee Koromvokis spoke with labor economist Paul Oyer, author of the book “Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating.” It turns out, the dating pool isn’t that different from any other market, and a number of economic principles can readily be applied to online dating. — Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Paul Oyer: So I found myself back in the dating market in the fall of 2010, and since I’d last been on the market, I’d become an economist, and online dating had arisen.
Online dating software has been built by statisticians, engineers, and nerds - and maybe nerds are the ones who need to start breaking it down. But it's possible that they purposefully wanted to signal to the market - we're going to treat our investors well, and we're willing to signal that by leaving some money on the table. Q: When do you stop searching and just pick someone?
The next time they go to the market, the investors are going to think of that. It's the same as burning a huge pile of cash on a first date. A: The word settling is so unromantic, but you cannot possibly choose from all the possible mates online. Just as everybody accepts a job that doesn't have that last little perk they wanted, at some point you have to accept a life partner.
Well, from an economist’s perspective, I was ignoring what we call “statistical discrimination.” And so, people see that you’re separated, and they assume a lot more than just that.