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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Canada Decriminalizes Prostitution—Will It Get Sex Workers Off the Streets?

Looks like Canada could become the Nevada of the north after a court ruled yesterday that the laws that make running a brothel and living off proceeds of prostitution are unconstitutional. The deciding factor in the court’s decision was that the current laws force women onto the streets, putting them at greater risk of violence.

Education May Explain Why Rich Nations Prefer Monogamy

On Thursday we started talking about the economics of monogamy and polygyny and I told you one theory that might explain the puzzle as to why, over time, in rich countries monogamy has prevailed over polygyny despite high levels of inequality in those countries.  George Bernard Shaw in his 1903 “Maxims for Revolutionists” probably summarized that argument […]

The Economics of Monogamy and Polygyny

Imagine you took all the men in a particular society and lined them up according to their level of income. On one side of the line you would have the extremely wealthy, the Bill Gateses of the group, and on the other side you would have the extremely poor—perhaps those who live in cardboard boxes. […]

An Economic Theory for Rentboys

Asymmetric information, where one party in a transaction has more accurate information than the other, generally leads to inefficient markets. Formal legal institutions, such as those that make contracts enforceable, reduce the two problems created by asymmetric information: adverse selection and moral hazard. Adverse selection is asymmetric information before a transaction occurs and is a […]

When It Comes to Faking Orgasms Who’s Kidding Whom?

Big Think’s blog Going Mental talked about orgasms this week, and I thought to myself, I can do that.  I’ve even got a little help, thanks to a very creative economist at Emory University who collected data from 16,000 men and women on orgasms a few years ago. Just to make things interesting, though, the 2000 Orgasm […]

Deriving Data From Prostitution-Rating Sites

Craigslist Canada is under pressure from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to take down the erotic section of their Web site following a decision by the U.S. site to remove that section earlier this month. So far they have resisted and it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Justin Bieber and Birth Control, or Why Young Women Prefer Girly Faced Men

A Canadian boy, at the age of sixteen, sells millions of albums and creates hysteria among throngs of female fans. He once almost created a riot of 6,000 screaming girls when he sat on the edge of the stage. His masculine good looks and street smart confidence makes him a heart throb of a generation.

Does Sex Reduce the National Savings Rate?

Rich economies are built on patience. How patient people are to consume determines how much they save. How much they save determines how much they invest and how much they invest influences how quickly economies grow.

An Economic Index for Sex?

University classes are starting so I thought I would write a blog post that would encourage students to think about the world. This idea came from a project that was done a few years ago by a group of my students in my Economics of Sex and Love class, so I thought it would be […]

Income and Infidelity

We have this perception that most cheating that goes on in marriage is among the extremely wealthy. Well, of course we do. When a man in the bottom of the income distribution discovers that the child he is raising is not his own, it doesn’t exactly make the evening news. Rationally we all know this, […]