Online Dating

These Nobel Prize-Winning Economic Theories Will Step Up Your Online Dating Game

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Businessman at a Chalkboard

Stanford economist Paul Oyer took a break from whatever it is Stanford economists do all day (writing numbers on blackboards, thoughtfully stroking their beards) to talk online dating with The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy. The author of Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating discussed four Nobel Prize-winning breakthroughs in his field and explained their relevance to the world of winks, instant messages, and carefully curated profile photos.

1. “Thick market” (2012)

The dating market is just that – a market. Join a site with many, many users to improve your odds of finding a match.

2. “Adverse selection” (2001)

“Beware of hidden information,” Oyer writes. Keep in mind that those who read your profile will make broad (and frequently inaccurate) assumptions about you based on the minimal data you provide. Choose your words carefully.

3. “Signaling” (2001)

Everybody lies – or at least favorably exaggerates – online. When you meet in person, put your money where your mouth is. Literally. If you want to prove that, say, you’re rich, make a point of spending a lot of cash on the first date.

4. “Search theory” (2010)

Settle. It’s much better to be happy with a great partner than waiting around forever for your perfect soulmate, who may or may not exist.

Read more at Speakeasy.

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