The Microeconomics of Online Dating

Friday, January 31, 2014

Paul Oyer, Stanford business school economist and the author of Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014), teaches microeconomics and trying out the internet dating scene. He shares the many parallels between both worlds.


Prof. Paul Oyer

Comments [20]

judith from westchester, ny

My apologies, Brian, I love your show, but . . . I'm an attractive, 54 year old professional woman and I should lie about my age?! Could we please talk about the real issue: in a "dating economy," women over the age of 50 are obsolete, while men are ageless. Are we really still living in the caveman era? What will evolution catch up?

Feb. 03 2014 12:40 PM
Cis G from Brooklyn

I'd like to pull a few of today's topics together by mentioning that on more than one occasion I have asked young female cops if they would like to stop and frisk me.

One said she wasn't paid enough for that.

Jan. 31 2014 12:29 PM
Elsie from Brooklyn

to EfromKGQ

Go for younger guys. They actually like women - and they're better in bed than middle aged men.

Jan. 31 2014 12:00 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights


You left out eating 1.5L of icecream and living with 10+ cats.

Jan. 31 2014 11:55 AM

So, his answer to correcting bad marketing on the part of men was "take what you're given". That, plus the usual defensive dudes posting comments, makes me not interested in ANY dating sites. Dog + 401K + vibrator > random guy.

Jan. 31 2014 11:45 AM
Joshua from Brooklyn, NY

Has the guest mentioned TINDER? Its awesome.

Jan. 31 2014 11:44 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

One more point: at least men are more honest to themselves and the world at large, about what their desires are. I think women are more confused -- maybe to the point of delusion -- about their wants, albeit they are probably more complicated.

Jan. 31 2014 11:43 AM

"September Song"
When I was a young man
Courting the girls
I played me a waiting game
If a maid refused me with tossing curls
I let the old Earth take a couple of whirls
While I plied her with tears in lieu of pearls

And as time came around
She came my way
As time came around
She came
But the days grow short when you reach September

Jan. 31 2014 11:43 AM

Don't dating sites have an incentive to NOT match you with someone you'll want a relationship with, since then you'll close your account and stop paying them?

Jan. 31 2014 11:42 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights

How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love

Jan. 31 2014 11:41 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

And as far as women in the North East (worst in the NY metro area), they're looking for lifestyle accessories, not MEN.

Jan. 31 2014 11:41 AM
Laura from NJ

As a happily married woman, I still say that it's still fun to shop so that I can appreciate what is already in my closet. Now for my question:

I have a widowed friend, and I noticed that she was a target of many interactions that seemed like scammers on the dating websites. Do you think that scammers target widows because they assume that there is an insurance settlement involved?

Jan. 31 2014 11:41 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Sounds like the demand on 1 side *is* the supply on the other side.

Jan. 31 2014 11:41 AM
tom from astoria

I'm in my 50s. I go by the Toscanini or Chaplain model: get super successful, marry a young woman and have a great big family -- later

Jan. 31 2014 11:39 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

But the Lindas keep window shopping and won't devote enough time concentrating on one or two men at a time. They continue to troll the sites and don't follow up with emails to the men they've already started conversations with.

Jan. 31 2014 11:39 AM

A, re: the previous segment, why is that a problem?

Jan. 31 2014 11:37 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

This guy apparently has a PhD in the field of "duh". Gotta love these clueless academics. But it's little wonder why these idiot economists somehow didn't see the crash of '08 coming. I guess they were too busy on OkCupid.

Jan. 31 2014 11:37 AM
Farren from UES

I think the biggest problem today is that Match and Okcupid do not allow you to "lurk". Which means you cannot have an active profile without a photograph. It's a huge privacy breach for those of us not looking to share our dating status.

Jan. 31 2014 11:37 AM

Fascinating about demand creates demand. Reminds me of the Yogi-ism: Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded.

Jan. 31 2014 11:36 AM

My problem is as I get older, as a professional woman, I make more money so I often meet men who make less money than me. I'm still single....

Jan. 31 2014 11:33 AM

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