The cost of love.

Econ 101 les­sons for your love life.

Elle (Canada) - - #Storyboard - BY MOLLY DOAN

SUP­PLY & DE­MAND There’s a bet­ter chance of your man pulling out all the stops this Valen­tine’s Day if you live in a city with more bach­e­lors than el­i­gi­ble women. A re­cent pa­per pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Per­son­al­ity and So­cial Psy­chol­ogy de­scribes an ex­per­i­ment in which male univer­sity stu­dents were asked to read ei­ther an ar­ti­cle say­ing that men were start­ing to out­num­ber women on their cam­pus or an ar­ti­cle that in­di­cated the op­po­site. When the men were asked how much the av­er­age guy should spend on a Valen­tine’s Day gift for his girl­friend, those who thought women were be­com­ing scarcer were more gen­er­ous, pric­ing the gift higher (an av­er­age of $53 ver­sus $47 from those who be­lieved there were more women). Par­tic­i­pants who thought male­fe­male ratios were not in their favour also ex­pected men to spend more on an en­gage­ment ring than those who read ar­ti­cles in­di­cat­ing there were more women at their univer­sity ($2,674 ver­sus $2,270). GO WEST, YOUNG WOMAN For the best odds of nab­bing a last­minute V-Day date, head to Al­berta. The north­ern mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Wood Buf­falo—which in­cludes oil-boom town Fort McMur­ray—has one of the high­est male-to-fe­male ratios in Canada (54.4 per­cent). As h

for big cities, Calgary (50 per­cent) and Ed­mon­ton (49.9 per­cent) have the high­est ratios of men to women in Canada, ac­cord­ing to the 2011 Cen­sus, while Vic­to­ria (48 per­cent) and Peter­bor­ough, Ont. (47.9 per­cent), have the low­est. FLOW­ERS VS. SEX Nearly a quar­ter of Cana­di­ans sur­veyed said they ex­pect to pay less than $25 for a Valen­tine’s Day gift, while just 7 per­cent said they would splurge on an item over $100, ac­cord­ing to a 2014 sur­vey by Re­tailMeNot. Nearly three-quar­ters of Cana­dian men and half of Cana­dian women also said they’d rather have sex on Valen­tine’s Day than re­ceive a present like flow­ers. PUT A ( MOD­ER­ATELY SIZED) RING ON IT “It’s a beau­ti­ful ring, but I wish the diamond were a lit­tle smaller,” said no woman, ever. That might change now that two economists from Emory Univer­sity in At­lanta have found a link be­tween big­ger en­gage­ment rings and higher di­vorce rates. They asked over 3,000 study par­tic­i­pants who had been mar­ried at least once for de­tails about their mar­riage, in­clud­ing the cost of their en­gage­ment ring and how much they spent on their wed­ding. They found that men who paid $2,000 to $4,000 for the ring had higher di­vorce rates than those who spent just $500 to $2,000. Of the women sur­veyed, those who re­called spend­ing over $20,000 on the wed­ding were much more likely to get di­vorced than those who’d spent $5,000 to $10,000. In Canada, a re­cent sur­vey by Bank of Mon­treal In­vestorLine found that Cana­di­ans ex­pect to spend an av­er­age of $15,000 on their wed­ding. HOME ECO­NOM­ICS Tall, dark and über-or­ga­nized? A study pub­lished last Oc­to­ber in Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence found that the per­son­al­ity of your spouse may af­fect your own ca­reer suc­cess. The au­thors sur­veyed over 4,500 cou­ples and fo­cused on five pri­mary per­son­al­ity traits: cre­ativ­ity, con­sci­en­tious­ness, agree­able­ness, ex­tro­ver­sion and neu­roti­cism. One spousal per­son­al­ity trait stood out for de­ter­min­ing suc­cess at the of­fice: Sur­vey par­tic­i­pants with con­sci­en­tious part­ners—those who are or­ga­nized, thor­ough and ef­fi­cient—had higher salaries, were more sat­is­fied with their jobs and were more likely to have been pro­moted in the past five years. Hav­ing a spouse with a trait like a knack for time man­age­ment height­ens ca­reer prospects, in part, be­cause pos­i­tive qual­i­ties rub off on a part­ner. BE­CAUSE I’M WORTH IT Some peo­ple take self-love a lit­tle bit too far— Kim Kar­dashian’s re­cent claim that her “as­sets” could break the In­ter­net comes to mind—and new re­search shows that the econ­omy may be par­tially to blame. Emory Univer­sity busi­ness pro­fes­sor Emily Bianchi found that peo­ple who are lucky enough to come of age in an eco­nomic boom—a pe­riod with low un­em­ploy­ment—tend to be ex­ces­sively con­fi­dent and nar­cis­sis­tic com­pared to those who grow up dur­ing an eco­nomic down­turn. (Kar­dashian was raised in the boom­ing ’80s and the pre-tech-bub­ble ’90s. Just sayin’.) Bianchi cal­cu­lated that Amer­i­can CEOs who reached early adult­hood dur­ing a boom ended up pay­ing their grown-up CEO selves 2.26 times more than they paid the nex­thigh­est ex­ec­u­tive. The gap fell to 1.69 for those who came of age in lesspros­per­ous times. ■

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