Thursday, April 17, 2008

What is the optimal level of Gold-Digging?

I have a friend who is well-educated and good looking with two conflicting complaints regarding women he’d like to date. His first complaint is regarding women who date men with no discernible purpose or future and lack all manner of worthy objectives in life (he calls them "trailer trash"). His second complaint is with women who want him because of his professional success. So women should avoid men with no potential for professional success but not want men with professional success? Questions that need answering:

1. What is the optimal level of professional success a woman should seek?
2. How can she send the appropriate and costly-to-fake signal that she is both interested and not interested?

2 comments:

Suzie said...

For Question 1:

Oh my, this reminds me of the Philippines. A beautiful young female Filipino with an old fart white guy. It is blatant display of biological tendencies and mutual using. A fertile woman (signaled by her beauty and youth) in a relationship with an successful man (signaled by his beer belly, age, and white skin). She wants money and a way out of poverty, he wants someone attractive to have his children and boost his self esteem. I understand that when people are in poverty many times relationships become an income sharing mechanism, however I still would hope that love would pull two people into a relationship to do this collaborating.

So, my question is: Why is there an optimal level of professional success one should be seeking in a mate? Should this be one of the bars I am setting in a relationship? While my qualifications for a mate do not rest on him being a lawyer, doctor or economist, they do rest on personal characteristics that may be more related to individuals who seek these positions (intelligent, interesting & motivated). However these characteristics could also be found in individuals outside of these professions. If this happens am I missing out on something due, to not reaching my optimal level of mate success?

afroeconomics said...

I remember having such an argument with my room mate once. She noted that in a market with plenty of entrants (gold diggers) that competition was high. Assuming that the excitement from sex is the only product, the man will experience marginal returns and eventually the Utility gained will start to reduce. At that point, she will be dropped for a new competitor with higher marginal returns for the product. Get it?

This assumes that there are no other factors that influence the utility of the relationship (such as age of girl, preference, emotional attachment, increased status from being seen with her etc.) on the man's side. As a result, once the excitement from sex runs out, another competitor takes over.