Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Who Says Romance Is Dead?
The Economics of Love and Marriage

Romance may not be dead, but it certainly does respond to incentives. This is from Tom Palmer [no relation]:

... The real romance behind the story, however, is surely the decision to marry “legally” in 2004, rather than in 2005. Guy called me last November to tell me that, with Bretigne’s parents in town, they’d gone to city hall and gotten married. I got a real tear in my eye when he told me that he had worked out the tax implications of marriage in 2004 vs. marriage in 2005, on the basis of which they decided to make it official with the tax authorities in 2004. And who says that romance is dead?
I wonder if Guy and Bretigne both consciously and explicitly assessed the expected incremental or marginal benefits vs. costs of additional search for a partner. After all, I tell my intro students that's what we mean when we tell someone we love them.

Sweetheart, I've evaluated the expected marginal benefits and costs of additional search for a mate, and I've decided to stop searching. You'll do.

Translation: I love you.
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