Thursday, February 17, 2011

Marriage as Moral Hazard


From the Huffington Post:
Probably not the first thing you feel like doing, but you know what's really not romantic? Using marriage as an excuse to get lazy. Recent studies show that married people exercise less than singles do, and in our own survey, 56% of married people said they'd put on weight since the big day. We slack off in other ways, too: 46% said they were less affectionate with their spouses, and 54% said they wish they were having more sex--yet they don't seem to be doing anything about it. Thinking like an economist, marriage is a moral hazard, a situation that encourages people to behave irresponsibly because they know they can get away with it.
The authors have a new book, Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes, which--as far as I can tell--is pretty much what it sounds like. I liked this:
Incentives motivate people to act. If you want your husband to listen, don't nag. If you want your wife to have sex with you, do the dishes.
Interesting. Might be worth reading the full version.

[HT: Astrid]

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