Why Marry? (Part 2)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The consequences of our low marriage rate -- and if the old model is less attractive, how about a new one?


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Comments [2]

Tomara from NY, NY

Hello Dubner and Levitt,
I found the discussion on online dating interesting as well as the "Why Marry?" podcasts and it all got me to thinking about what one does when the search for an online (or any) romantic connection fails. During one of your Freak-uently asked questions sessions Levitt commented that it would be much more difficult for him to be obsessed with golf if he did not have a family because it would be awful to have nothing in his life but his golf obsession. So my question is, from an economic standpoint, what is the upside to living a life without the benefit of a mate and/or offspring? At what point does one accept the concept of diminishing returns with regard to the effort to find a mate and embrace a life of singlehood? And what does being alone mean for a primarily social species? I would love to hear what the economists, social scientists and psychologists have to say about this. Thanks!

Jul. 03 2014 12:34 PM
James McP from louisville

I found the discussion about the Atlanta dating scene oddly ironic. The February 6th episode on online dating encourage people in "thick" markets to be picky. Which is exactly what educated black men in Atlanta are doing.

Secondly, contractual marriage is nothing new. I am not a historian but in sassanid Persia (5th century) there were several forms of marriage, from lifetime commitments or fixed time periods or for producing offspring.

Feb. 20 2014 05:40 PM

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About Freakonomics Radio

In their books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomicsSteven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner use the tools of economics to explore real-world behavior. As boring as that may sound, what they really do is tell stories — about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama’s boys. American Public Media’s Marketplace and WNYC are now bringing those Freakonomics stories — and plenty of new ones — to the radio, with Dubner as host. Just like the books, Freakonomics Radio will explore “the hidden side of everything.” It will tell you things you always thought you knew but didn’t, and things you never thought you wanted to know, but do.


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