Friday, April 1, 2011

Chris Rock on Marriage (and Behavioral Economics)

Disclaimer: If you are bothered by foul and/or vulgar language, do NOT watch any of the below videos. They are funny (and insightful, if you look at them from the perspective of a behavioral economist), but they WILL offend just about everyone in some way or another.

Since it's April Fools' Day, here's some ostensibly superficial but actually rather deep humor:

Paula Szuchman over at the always interesting Spousonomics blog put together a series of posts showcasing the wisdom of Chris Rock, demonstrating his deft command over behavioral economics ideas as they apply to everyday married life.

Well, OK, that may be a stretch, but Szuchman does do something I too love to do - find applied economics principles in others' everyday speech and lives. So, I've collected the various Chris Rock videos she's posted in this post.

First up, we have Chris Rock explaining the problem of opportunity costs in marriage (i.e. the tension created by the fact that you are giving up something in order to marry another person, though often you don't know what you're giving up until after the fact), as well as marriage and moral hazard (and here's Spousonomics' take on the same topic)::



Next up, Chris Rock's exposition on marriage and the status quo bias:



And here's his take on adverse selection:



Finally, Chris Rock teaches us about information processing costs:



So, a big thanks to Chris Rock, for making learning about economics fun and funny, and thanks also to Paula Szuchman for compiling this list of clips!

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