Paul Oyer: What Online Dating Can Teach About Economics

When Stanford professor and economist Paul Oyer found himself back on the dating scene after more than 20 years, he headed to sites like OkCupid, Match. As he spent more time on these sites, he realized searching for a romantic partner online was remarkably similar to something he’d been studying all his life: economics. Oyer, who is now happily in a relationship with a woman he met on JDate, recently sat down with The Date Report to talk about all the actually interesting dating tips you slept through during your freshman econ class. People end up on online dating sites for a variety of reasons—some are looking for casual hookups with multiple people, while others are seeking monogamous, long-term love. Knowing what you’re looking for will help inform the way you describe yourself to others. During a recent segment of the Freakonomics podcast , Oyer analyzed the OkCupid profile of radio producer PJ Vogt, whose jokes about drinking and whose “casual attire” profile photos made him potentially less appealing to women looking for something serious. Oyer’s advice to Vogt: “If you want to show that you’re serious and you’re ready to settle down, you should consider having one or two pictures that show that. Be wary of people who have been on a dating site for a long time. He likens the fact to discovering a house for sale has been on the market for a very long time, even if the overall housing market is pretty active — in other words, the fact that this one house still for sale should raise a red flag in your mind. Finding the right partners, of course, is nothing like buying a house — the house you like doesn’t have to like you back in order for things to work out.

Back on the Market: What Online Dating Reveals About Economics

Conquering the dating market–from an economist’s point of view. After more than twenty years, economist Paul Oyer found himself back on the dating scene–but what a difference a few years made. Dating was now dominated by sites like Match.

Following this train of thought, Paul Oyer, an economics professor who specializes in labor economics, argues that online dating is a crash.

A new book explores why online dating is a great place to learn economic concepts and how they can be used to write a rsum or make an investment. Economic principles have applications in a broad range of activities, from buying a house to launching a business. A new book by Paul Oyer , the Fred H. Merrill professor of economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in the US, looks at how you can understand seemingly dense concepts like search theory and signalling from something as accessible as online dating.

In an email interview, Oyer talks about the idea behind his new book, Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating, and how picking a bad date online is akin to making a poor hiring decision. Edited excerpts:. What does online dating have to do with economics? Most people associate economics with money, but money is a boring and unimportant detail for most economists. I like that online dating allows me to explain economic ideas without mentioning money.

You write in the book that, like dating, signalling has applications for those seeking a job.

Paul Oyer: online dating an economics class

By Paul Oyer. It was a crisp fall evening, and I was sitting at a table outside Cafe Borrone near my house in the heart of Silicon Valley, awaiting the arrival of my first date in over twenty years. A lot had happened in that time. For example, within a twenty-five mile radius of the cafe, engineers had transformed our lives dramatically by developing the internet. At a more personal level, I had become an economist and was now a professor teaching and researching my field.

As I waited, I realized how the rise of the internet had led me to my seat at the cafe.

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So, how can you overcome cheap talk? An online dating site in Korea tried to find out. The site, essentially the Korean equivalent of Match. In addition, some participants could offer a virtual rose along with two of their date requests. Next, there was a four-day period during which people responded essentially yes or no to the proposals they received. The company then matched up the mutually interested pairs.

Why did the site add the element of the virtual rose, and did it affect the outcomes of the dating arrangements? The answers are that a couple of paul talked them into it, online, yes, it dating large effects. The idea of signaling something to someone you are paul to impress was modeled by Michael Spence in the early s and won a Nobel Prize in , and these economists wanted know try it out. But note that what makes the signal work in this case is that it oyer something.

Market Meets Online Dating in Economist’s New Book

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. Paul Oyer, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has been teaching economics for almost two decades. His experience with online dating started much more recently. But when he started looking for love online, Oyer discovered that the principles he teaches in the classroom were surprisingly applicable to this new marketplace.

It [illustrates them] in a nice context because I think a lot of people think about economics and they think about money.

Paul Oyer, Stanford business school economist and the author of Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned.

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The Economics of Online Dating

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Paul Oyer | It’s a date, with economics

Paul Oyer, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has been teaching economics for almost two decades. His experience with online dating started much more recently. But when he started looking for love online, Oyer discovered that the principles he teaches in the classroom were surprisingly applicable to this new marketplace. On how online dating illustrates economic principles.

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Paul Oyer: Finding Success in the Digital Marketplace