Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Harvard Economist Works Out the Equation for Finding a Wife

Edward Glaeser, an economics professor at Harvard University, who obtained his B.A. in economics from Princeton University and his Ph D in economics from the University of Chicago, writes:
Most of my research deals with the economics of cities, but I have a smattering of knowledge in the minor field of spouse-meeting at Princeton. 
[...] my own finely tuned algebraic simulations of an optimal spousal-search model find that while college provides an ideal time to accumulate a large stock of good friends (prospective spouses), it is typically suboptimal to wed at age 21 because of preference uncertainty and the benefits of continuing to meet alternatives.
In my own life, which has always been based on a rigorous application of optimization methods, the equations dictated that I meet my future wife in line at a Princeton dining hall at age 17, but that we should not date for another 15 years and not wed until after our 15th reunion.  


  1. In Wenzel-Galambos world, he can get a patent on this and then get a court to issue and injunction to stop people from getting married if they use "his" equation to find each other.

    1. Actually, I'm pretty sure many years ago, one caveman, Grag, told another, Grog, about his secret idea to form a contractual union with another caveman and swore Grog to secrecy. Grog spilled the beans to the entire human world at the time (the population being very small) and thus, all marriages are invalid as a breach of Grag's IP.

  2. I don't think Bob is arguing public, like open source ideas are scarce. If I have it right, common knowledge and the like aren't so called IP. Trade secrets, formulas and the like protect companies like Apples technology which allows them to thrive in the market. Is Kinsella saying all ideas should be open to the public, and nobodies ideas are their own? I guess that would mean Coke's formula should be public, and everyone should be able to make it themselves. No matter their own great company, it's now public domain.

  3. Oh Edward!!! You silver-tongued devil. Bet you're just driving the girls WILD, and will find your ideal woman just as soon as she gets the projectile vomiting under control...