The Romantic Economist: A Story of Love and Market Forces

William Nicolson. Atria/Marble Arch, $16 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-4767-3041-7
An earnest economics major tries to apply his bookish learning to romance in this debut memoir. Nicolson, currently a trainee solicitor at a London law firm, shares several forays into love as examples of a romantic market theory in which he strives to increase his “value.” Playing “hard to get” becomes a lesson in supply and demand, market structure, and price elasticity. Late in the book, after assessing the time, cost, and emotional investment of a long-term relationship, he “liquidates” to “buy back into the market” as a bachelor again. The author switches to a Keynesian model where he “restore[s] the thing that badly performing economies are generally lacking: confidence.” Lacking nuanced insight, Nicolson repeatedly turns life into math equations, with handy diagrams as an “investor in the market for relationships.” The author does work toward real moments of truth, with game theory research that spotlights the gut-wrenching immaturity that every young adult faces. Outdated notions are given new life in these economic explanations, even if the author acknowledges that some might find them “downright offensive.” (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 01/07/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4767-3042-4
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-1-78072-176-7
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