Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating

Book cover for Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating

Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating

Harvard Business Review Press, 2014

Conquering the dating market — from an economist’s point of view. After more than twenty years, economist Paul Oyer found himself back on the dating scene — but what a difference a few years made. Dating was now dominated by sites like Match.com, eHarmony, and OkCupid. But Oyer had a secret weapon: economics. It turns out that dating sites are no different than the markets Oyer had spent a lifetime studying. Monster.com, eBay, and other sites where individuals come together to find a match gave Oyer startling insight into the modern dating scene. The arcane language of economics — search, signaling, adverse selection, cheap talk, statistical discrimination, thick markets, and network externalities — provides a useful guide to finding a mate.

Using the ideas that are central to how markets and economics and dating work, Oyer shows how you can apply these ideas to take advantage of the economics in everyday life, all around you, all the time. For all online daters — and for anyone else swimming in the vast sea of the information economy — this book uses Oyer’s own experiences, and those of millions of others, to help you navigate the key economic concepts that drive the modern age.

Selected Editorial Reviews
Economists may not be known for their romantic expertise, but Oyer explains the ins and outs of online dating with such clarity, humor, and scientific prowess that I’m guessing many marriages will result from his book. A hilarious, thought-provoking, must-read manual for anybody who wants to find The One and learn why love and the economy make for highly entertaining bedfellows.
Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author
I thought I knew a lot about online dating and a lot about economics, too. But after reading this book, I now know a lot more about both (and a bunch of other things, as well). The application of economic principles to something everyone has experience with—dating—will help readers figure out how to behave in any market.
Sam Yagan, cofounder, OkCupid, and CEO, Match.com
Brave and funny is an unusual thing to say about an introduction to economic thinking, but the description fits both Paul Oyer and his book.
Alvin E. Roth, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences
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