Economics of relationships

Ok, bear with me for a few minutes while I tell you a little bit about my relationship with my lovely wife. I promise I’ll be brief and I’ll soon tie into some economics!

My wife calls me on the telephone more often than I call her. Sometimes she complains, “Why don’t you ever call me? Don’t you want to talk to me?” Of course I do, so why don’t I call her? Glen Whitman at Agoraphilia explains:

Say Ted would like to talk on the phone every two days, whereas Sheila would like to talk every day. You might think Sheila would call Ted about two-thirds of the time – but in fact, she will call him every time. If they talk on Monday, Ted plans to call on Wednesday; but then Sheila calls him Tuesday. His clock reset, Ted plans to call on Thursday. And then Sheila calls on Wednesday. Eventually, Sheila decides Ted doesn’t care about her, because he never calls.

Glen uses the same model to explain some other relationship disputes (you can guess which).

As long as I am promoting Agoraphilia you can also read Glen on optimal haircuts, and here is co-blogger Tom Bell on the relationship between ice-cream and cryonics and lest you think this not a serious blog here is Glen’s excellent post on health care savings accounts.


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