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Could you explain your theory of "romantic unemployment"?
It comes from a type of search theory, which is a situation where people can't find exactly what they want, even if it is out there somewhere, because the act of searching itself is so costly. Because of search theory, there are eligible and attractive single people and talented potential employees who are unemployed. You can get caught up easily if each time you decide whether to evaluate more profiles, you think, But what if The One is in this next batch?
Learn Vest: First of all, what does online dating have to do with economics?
Oyer: I'm a labor economist, so when I found myself back on the dating scene, it became clear to me that online dating is a marketplace.
Sure, you might keep finding better dates and trading up.
But at a certain point, according to search theory, it's no longer worth the trouble — most of us have something else we need, or want, to be doing with our time.
Even if you're determined to be 100 percent honest when setting up an online profile, you should expect that your competition is fudging the truth.If you have a deal-breaker requirement and will only consider dates who fulfill that — for example, a certain passion or religion — then you're a specialist dater, and your personal thick market is a specialized site such as Christian Mingle or JDate, because everyone there meets your basic criteria.If you choose to be a specialist dater, you should know that these targeted sites are more viable options in densely populated areas, where there are a larger number of people with special interests in the region and there are enough people to provide an appropriately thick market. According to Oyer, you can see everything from why executives "sugarcoat" their company's situations to why qualified candidates remain jobless, reflected in the world of online dating. Hey, it worked for him: Ultimately Oyer met his match online. Turns out online dating (or, say, the marketplace of life partners) operates a lot like other markets, says Paul Oyer, an economics professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of . Below, Oyer shares some of the insight he gained through his own forays into the online dating world.
In your book, you explain that dishonesty in an online profile makes economic sense. Economists think of lying as a rational thing to increase utility, or happiness.