Matchmaker markets in everything

by on April 25, 2017 at 12:34 am in Economics, Religion, Uncategorized | Permalink

Mishpacha Magazine featured an article by Philanthropist, Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz of Los Angeles California discussing his view and approach to the age gap problem in frum circles and calling the current situation a Shidduch Catastrophe. In the article he discussed an idea to help solve the age gap and offered an incentive to marry off older girls for the upcoming year…

INCENTIVE: Subsidize money paid to the matchmaker:

For the upcoming calendar year of 5775, Mr. Rechnitz is offering to supplement the shadchanus of anyone successful in marrying off a girl age 25 or older, to a boy her age or younger, so that they receive a total compensation of $10,000. Certain minor conditions apply. This offer isn’t only for professional shadchanim. It applies to anyone and everyone, every age, race, or gender who makes a successful Shidduch that meets the criteria.

Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz has approached the mission of marrying off all the girls in Los Angeles with the same intensity as he does for his own daughters. All the major shadchanim are aware that when any Los Angeles girl doesn’t have the funds for plane fare for a date, the shadchan can — without asking — automatically book the tickets and rental car, if necessary, for either the boy or girl, on the Rechnitz account. In addition, any shadchan who marries off a Los Angeles girl has his shadchanus supplemented to $4,000. If the shadchan can get a couple to date at least four times, they receive $500.

There is video at the link, and the comments offer several points of interest as well.  I am told by one reader that the 19k bounty has been discontinued.  Here is related coverage from Time, with an extensive discussion of the Mormon dating crisis as well.  Here is a very interesting article on Orthodox dating in Jerusalem.

For the pointers I thank Yehuda S.

1 Steve Sailer April 25, 2017 at 1:05 am

It’s expensive being orthodox Jewish.

It would be interesting to look into the economics of various religions. My guess is that Mormonism is pretty middling. You are supposed to tithe, but you get a lot back in social services.

Catholicism is pretty cheap. The faithful aren’t expected to tithe, and while they have professional priests, the priests aren’t paid enough to have families.

2 That Guy April 25, 2017 at 1:40 am

Hence abuses like in New York, Kiryas Joel and all that, yeshiva bucherim living on welfare, public school boards spending tax dollars to provide religious schools, etc.

3 Dick the Butcher April 25, 2017 at 8:26 am

At work, we needed to go outside to smoke. Sometimes I would talk with an Orthodox Jewish (beard, yamulke, black clothes, white shirt) IT guy. Once, we discussed arranged marriages which were active in his community. He said they worked. Thinking about friends’ and my situations, I could not disagree.

This post seems to attempt observing demand, supply, price.

“. . . priests aren’t paid enough to have families.” What? Do they resort to abortions or birth control? About a thousand years ago, “they” decided that priests aren’t allowed to marry. Priests make vows of chastity, obedience, and poverty.

“Catholicism is pretty cheap.” I agree. Throwing a few dollars in the collection plate each Sunday is very low-cost when the returns include heat in Winter; central air conditioning in summer; excellent (well, compared to public schools), subsidized parochial schools; and the infinite rewards of eternal salvation.

Theology is making up stuff about God.
Philosophy is making up stuff about stuff.
Economics is making up stuff about how economists think economies ought to function.

4 Careless April 25, 2017 at 9:51 am

“. . . priests aren’t paid enough to have families.” What? Do they resort to abortions or birth control?

er… no, they’re just not paid enough to have families. Why was that hard to understand?

5 Jan April 25, 2017 at 11:25 am

Not true.

6 Realist April 25, 2017 at 8:50 am

Mormon men are expected to go on missions, a very demanding process.

7 dearieme April 25, 2017 at 9:32 am

Why are they called “orthodox Jewish” when compared to the bulk of Jews they are pretty unorthodox?

8 Careless April 25, 2017 at 9:52 am

Well that problem’s going to be fixed in a couple of generations

9 byomtov April 25, 2017 at 7:26 pm

For the same reasons some Christian churches are called “orthodox” despite the fact that their adherents constitute a minority of all Christians?

10 Dzhaughn April 25, 2017 at 1:20 am

Polygyny looks likelier.

11 So Much For Subtlety April 25, 2017 at 5:20 am

Why? Once the girl is getting a little old, presumably their potential husbands are not counting on many children. Her value has dropped off. Why would that low value be worth much to a man who already has another, presumably younger, wife? He gets a lot of potential conflict with the existing wife, a lot of potential problems with the older girl – after all, why hasn’t she married already? – and maybe a lot of debt. And little in return.

The only way I can see this working is if rich Orthodox men marry many young girls. Which would leave the older ones to the poor men. Who may or may not be interested in that deal. The women themselves may prefer spinsterhood to marrying the local greengrocer if it is a downward step.

12 celestus April 25, 2017 at 9:23 am

Not unless sperm banks count as polygyny.

13 So Much For Subtlety April 25, 2017 at 4:29 am

So basically they are having similar problems a lot of cultures are – women are waiting too long to get married? I am surprised that is a problem in the Orthodox community. Don’t they usually marry girls off a little younger than 25? Still it is interesting to see that the observant Jews agree with the Japanese that girls are no use past the 25th.

The solution, for them and the rest of the West, is to stop wasting time telling young girls that they will be fulfilled by a career. We should instead discourage them from going to college – they mostly do useless degrees anyway – and encourage them to marry earlier and have more children. At least tell them their chances of a happy marriage drop off every year past 25.

14 Yehuda Simon April 25, 2017 at 5:26 am

Orthodox girls do start dating young (as early as 18 depending on what community one is in) -much younger than the orthodox guys, which is why there is such a big problem. The older a girl gets, the more competition she has from girls entering the market. The crux of the problem is that since the general population is increasing, there will always be more girls than boys entering the market. This explains it.

15 So Much For Subtlety April 25, 2017 at 5:41 am

Unless there is something very unusual about the Orthodox community, there should be one boy born for every girl. That means there will never be more girls entering the market than boys. Whether the general community is increasing or not.

The main way that can change is if more boys die – and they do. But I doubt that the orthodox world is very dangerous for boys. I mean, paper cuts perhaps. They aren’t dying in war. Nor, I would guess, of motorcycle accidents or opiate overdoses. Or a lot of them are Gay. Which is, perhaps, not likely.

I have no idea, but I would guess if there is a problem it is that some orthodox boys are marrying out or otherwise leaving the community. I would expect more Orthodox boys are drawn into the wider world than Orthodox girls – they are more likely to work.

16 Yehuda Simon April 25, 2017 at 5:58 am

Say the population is increasing by 3% every year. Even though an equal number of boys and girls are born each year, since more _girls_ were born 18 years ago than _boys_ born 23 years ago, there will always be more girls entering the market than boys.

17 Steve Sailer April 25, 2017 at 8:16 am

That happened in the general American culture during the Baby Boom: Suddenly in 1964 there were a lot more 18 year old girls around, many competing for older males. Divorce rates started going up along with the temptation rate.

I guess M. Macron would have had a solution for that …

18 Jan April 25, 2017 at 11:28 am

This is a good point. Alas, it’s over SMFS’s head.

19 A Definite Beta Guy April 25, 2017 at 11:54 am

The flow should be equivalent, the stock will always be tilted towards women because men aged 18-13 are not on the market. At the top range, men also die sooner, further distorting the pool. However, the marriage rates should be equivalent, since it’s still 1 man-1 woman math.

20 Axa April 25, 2017 at 8:23 am

SMFS, visualize the bars of a population pyramid. The marriage market under these rules is having an smaller set of men compared to women.

Indeed, this may explain the reason why this idea spread in first place among many cultures. The custom of women marrying older men ensures a nice marriage market for men. So…….there’s an incentive behind “culture”.

21 Realist April 25, 2017 at 8:41 am

No, if you have boys aged 22-30 competing for girls aged 18-30, you’ll have more girls on the market than boys. In mainstream society, there are lots of men older than thirty competing for the younger women, in Orthodox society with its very low divorce rates that’s less of an issue.Boys being more likely than girls to defect from the community is also going to be an issue.

22 Niroscience April 25, 2017 at 9:25 am

I think a central theme of the dateconomics book, IIRC, was that men also exit religions more often or are less likely to be devout if they stay – further reducing the supply of orthodox men.

23 celestus April 25, 2017 at 9:11 am

The weird thing is that Mormonism kind of does this. They’re okay with college, but about half of BYU students are married by graduation day. Statistics indicate that at age 34 the median male grad is making $72,000 per year and the median female grad is making $800.

24 prior_test2 April 25, 2017 at 6:24 am

So, something like arranged marriages is bad, but something resembling someone being well paid as a procurer in slow motion is fine?

25 a definite beta guy April 25, 2017 at 7:31 am

Really? There is a dearth of men in religion? Have you tried making religion more male-friendly?
Have the women tried looking elsewhere for eligible bachelors? A religious singles mixer? I hear there is this place called “Buffalo Wild Wings” where men meet sometimes. Yeah, some of them aren’t religious, and some of them might not even have college degrees, but they are perfectly eligible men that come from millenia of prior genetic winners.
I suspect these non-practicing Mormon apostates still hold most of the values of the community, and enough believe in “happy wife happy life” to shut up and go to church once a week.

26 Realist April 25, 2017 at 8:49 am

“but they are perfectly eligible men that come from millenia of prior genetic winners”

You evidently don’t know much about the mentality of Jewry!

“I suspect these non-practicing Mormon apostates still hold most of the values of the community, and enough believe in “happy wife happy life” to shut up and go to church once a week.”

I’ve been told that much of it is that Mormon women want to marry a man who went on a mission. It’s seen as a litmus test of righteousness.

27 A Definite Beta Guy April 25, 2017 at 11:17 am

The girls need to have make some compromises. My MIL is a devout Catholic who married a Lutheran, who only took RCIA 40 years into their marriage. Sometimes just gotta have reasonable expectations….and no one does these girls any favors writing think pieces about “shortage of men who meet criteria A-ZZ.”

28 Mitch Berkson April 25, 2017 at 8:28 am

How many 24 year old girls delayed getting married for a year? Cobra effect?

29 aMichael April 25, 2017 at 11:05 am

There’s some truth in the Time article on Mormon dating and BYU — the gender ratio among active LDS singles favors men and likely affects their behavior — but take it with a grain of salt. There are still a ton of Mormons who get married. I didn’t notice them citing the average age that Mormons get married now compared to in the past and it would be hard to say whether any changes are due to sex ratios or just temporal change in cultural expectations that follow trends in the population at large. In my experience, the plastic surgery is happening among wealthy *married* women — stay at home moms in wealthy congregations who don’t have much else to do but keep up with the Joneses. I don’t see evidence of Botox and boob jobs at BYU, but it is a selective school, so perhaps the types of women who come to BYU aren’t prone to plastic surgery. Maybe there’s more of it at Utah Valley Univ, the largest public university in Utah that’s just a few miles from BYU. And the claim that “At BYU, a lot of Mormons my age don’t consider oral sex to be sex,” might be saying more about this particular student’s circle of friends than BYU students at large. (Because I only know a couple of people who voted for Trump, so the election results must have been a fraud!)

30 John Mansfield April 25, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Unmatchable singles become more conspicuous in a culture that matches up all the rest. This sign of a failing of the culture is really a sign of a success: all the marriageable get on with becoming married, and the ummarriageable learn early who they are.

31 JohnH April 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm

“Philanthropist” Shlomo Rechnitz runs a nursing home empire. He is widely loathed (and sued) for his unscrupulous behavior in the skilled nursing industry.

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