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21 Jun

PAUL OYER: Well, in everyday life, we’re always going around making decisions and some of those decisions are very costly.

So when I go to the grocery store, if I spend a lot of time scanning the shelves, I could be doing other things.

Because going out and meeting people is costly and difficult.

Whereas, searching through online profiles can be fairly efficient.

You’re looking for someone who will in turn choose you.

And this is something that when pundits start talking about settling and how more people should just settle, I always want to scream, because I think, but, you’re not just settling for someone. That’s why I was very glad to see you make that distinction.

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However, we invest in those search costs because it’s worth it, because we get something we really want.But when you do shop for a house, you just need to find the one you really want and be willing to pay enough for it.Whereas, when you pick a life partner it’s much more akin to the job search. And as a result, what ends up happening is both employers and people looking for jobs as well as people looking for significant others are always wondering could I do a little bit better? So I might date somebody a few times and I think, well, you know I can probably find a match that would be a little bit more appropriate.So loneliness in the partner market is basically similar to unemployment in the job market.SARAH GREEN: Well, and as you point out in the book, there is one way in which both romantic partners and potential employers try to get you to choose them by signaling either how desirable they really are or maybe at least how much they’re really interested in you.