Dollars and Sex: How Economics Influences Sex and Love

Marina Adshade, Author
Marina Adshade. Chronicle, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0922-0
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4521-2695-1
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4434-1057-1
Ebook - 273 pages - 978-1-74343-032-3
Hardcover - 271 pages - 978-1-4434-1055-7
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Ever wonder why a high-value mate faces intractable levels of search friction in the saturated courtship market (read: why a nice guy can’t get a date)? If so, Adshade’s got news for you. In this blog-to-book treatise on the relationship between sex and the free market, the University of British Columbia professor discusses sexual behavior in terms of micro- and macroeconomic principles. Chapters dealing with the latter are the book’s most successful; her reporting on external forces—such as widespread Internet use, mass incarceration, and income inequality—lead to provocative conclusions on the future of marriage. On the other hand, sections devoted to microeconomic principles and institutions are circuitous and opaque, and are frequently broken up by distracting digressions. However, when the two sides of her argument converge, Adshade’s strong suit is clear—she deftly relays the basics of economics (in this case, comparative advantage) using statistically observed behavior, and shades her position with astute reporting on external cultural and economic conditions. The content of the book springs from an undergraduate course Adshade teaches called “Economics of Sex and Love,” so readers unfamiliar with Econ 101 (or Sex 101 for that matter) needn’t fear—Adshade’s an understandable and engaging teacher. Agent: Danielle Svetcov, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Apr.)
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