Results for “trudie theorem” 3 found
"Your long-distance relationship faces two main enemies, you and the other person.
The first danger is that you deliberately seek someone far away because he is inaccessible and thus less emotionally threatening. If that is the case, you don’t really want to be closer. Go for it. Or don’t. More precisely, you will do both at the same time; that is what preference intransitivity means.
If you had opted for someone geographically closer, you would be more distant in some other way, in Ramsey rule-like fashion. Until you have conquered your fears, geographic distance is probably less emotionally abusive on you and the other person than the other kinds of distance you might opt for. So go for it. The "longing" will feel sad but it is also beautiful and bittersweet and will lead to lovely poems; more importantly it is better for social welfare than directly torturing some poor guy next door.
Under the cheerier scenario, you do actually think the distant person is your best bet and you are not seeking distance per se.
But then you must confront the Alchian and Allen Theorem. The higher the fixed cost, the "higher quality" a trip you will both tend to seek. (New readers: take any set of relative prices and add a fixed cost to each; notice that the ratio, in relative terms, shifts in favor of the bigger, more costly, or higher quality item.) More concretely, who would fly across the country for a mere kiss on the cheek?
But moving too fast is dangerous and ill-advised. And in the longer run you will each "expect too much" from each visit. Remember the old question: "Are We Having Fun Now?" The quest for continual high-quality excitement is not conducive to casual down time together, which is the glue which binds relationships together in the longer run. The Alchian and Allen Theorem is a potent enemy of the all-important "low expectations" and that alone is one good reason to keep transportation costs low in your life.
The solution is simple conceptually but difficult to implement. Do something else with part of your trip to the west (east) coast. Lower expectations for the visit. Meet another friend too, or set up some business, or give a paper at a scintillating academic conference. Yes you will have less time with your potential beloved, but the remaining time will get you further toward where you want to be. How much time does one need to fall in love anyway?
Affectionately Yours, Trudie"
From The National Post, the main sources are Tim Harford and yours truly. Excerpt:
The answer, says Mr. Cowen, lies in the Alchian-Allen Theorem. Developed in 1964 by economists Armen Alchian and William R. Allen, the theorem states that adding a per unit charge to the price of two substitute goods increases the relative consumption of the higher price good.
In layman’s terms, "you don’t take a long trip unless you are going to make it worth your while," he says. Very few people in a long-distance relationship are going to fly across the country just to hang out in sweatpants with their sweetheart.
The result is overblown expectations ("are we having fun now?") and excess pressure on the relationship. Here is a previous MR post on this topic.
In today’s FT:
Economist Tyler Cowen, a professor at George Mason University, has
pointed out that the Alchian-Allen theorem applies to any long-distance
The theorem, briefly, implies that
Australians drink higher-quality Californian wine than Californians,
and vice-versa, because it is only worth the transportation costs for
the most expensive wine. Similarly, there is no point in travelling to
see your boyfriend for a take-away Indian meal and an evening in front
of the telly. To justify the trip’s fixed costs, you will require
champagne, sparkling conversation and energetic sex. Insist on it.
optimal-experimentation theory suggests that at this tender stage of
life you are highly likely to meet someone even better. Socialise a lot
while your boyfriend is not around.
Here is Trudie on that same topic. By the way, here are two clips from Tim’s BBC Econ TV show, on YouTube.