Tim Harford on long-distance relationships

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.


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