Three roses. Everyone else is giving roses by the dozen and I end up with a man whose decides partway through our (long) relationship that he giving three roses on Valentine’s Day is going to be his “thing”. Its quirky and fun he tells me but I know darn well that he has gone to the florist and asked “How much for a dozen roses?” … “How much for six roses?”…. “Um, okay then give me three.”
Just as peacocks spread their tails to signal virility, men have used conspicuous consumption to signal wealth and women have used the appearance of youth to signal fertility – all in the name of attracting a mate. How though, can online daters signal genuine interest to a prospective match? By sending a rose of course.
I asked a friend of mine a few months ago how I would know when I had crossed the line with my economic analysis of sex and love to which she responded “Oh, honey…you crossed that line a long time ago.” Maybe she was right. But if she wasn’t, today is probably the day. Today we ask the question: Does penis length contribute to economic growth?
In December I raised the question: Can watching the market for sex toys predict a recession? In that post I suggested the increased demand for lubricants in 2009 might reflect the need for a cheap means to feel good in hard economic times and that, if this is the case, then perhaps lubricant sales figures could be used as a leading indicator of recessions. I said that that time that the real test of the validity of a lubricant leading indicator would be to observe if sales went limp in the recovery.
Can watching the market for sex toys help economists predict a recession?
Economists at their most playful like to find interesting ways to watch the market for signs of an impending economic downturn. After we get tired of watching inventories and production capacity, we turn to other leading indicators such as hamburger sales and whether or not donut shops are moving into downtown cores.
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. Now imagine that you line up all the women as well with the intention of matching the men with the women in matrimony. The men make an offer of marriage and the women choose to refuse or accept those offers. Now this is an economic story, so what the women really care about is the standard of living she is going to have if she accepts the offer.