Italians do it better (the MBA)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Economics of love

If you feel totally or partially hurt or offended by stereotypes about love, men, women, dates and stuff like that, please don't go beyond this point.

Common stereotypes confirmed: Yesterday was the last day of class. The very last one was Turnaround Management. As I said the course itself didn't teach me that much but the professor is a really smart and brilliant man. Always ready to make jokes as well as to give real-world suggestion to future managers.
I would say that here at columbia courses have very good teachers but at the same time are not very very good. At least the ones that i took.
During the last class of International Economics our teacher brought to us the results of a very corious research he is following about men, women and mate selections.
Have you ever heard what is the very first thing a woman looks for in a man? "Oh.. I love a man that makes me smile and laugh all the time". Well, men are fooled by this concept twice. First because they think that woman smile and laugh on the same basis as men do, which is the sense of humor. It is not. Second because women lie. To the interviewer and to themselves.
A recent study from the department of economics at columbia has proven that, as it happens for corruption and other sins, asking people questions about the criteria to choose a partner is not possible. You cannot ask people how many times did they pay bribes and you cannot ask people what they are looking for in a mate. They will lie because they don't want to give a stereotipized image of themselves. And they don't want to be part of the stereotype even in their own coscience.
On top of that, it seems that the "it makes me smile" is a result of two different functions for men and women.
For men is something like: Smile = F(humor/jokes/ability to adapt to situations/good mood..)
For women: Smile = F(wealth)
But as wealth by itself doesn't bring happyness, it seems that is not true that women really look at that as first criteria.
To cut it short the research study confirmed that:

- if asked most of the men put a high relevance to intelligence as a choice criteria but then they all preferred the 5 beauties rather then the 5 girls from the MENSA
- men look for a hot body and don't care about intelligence (in italy we say "il bus l'è il bus, e l'usel l'ha gà mia i occ")
- men don't want a girl that is smarter then themselves (but that's phisically impossible anyway.. joking!)
- girls look for phisical aspect for short term relations but not for long ones
- girls know NPV and they are able to calculate men NPV in one second: where have u been in vacation (1 day in sardinia is better then 2 months in costa brava), where do u live, which school have u been.. very subtle questions!
- if you are a man, you go in a club and sit beside a very handsome man, your chances to be picked up by a girl don't decrease.
- if you are a girl and you sit beside another beautiful girl your chances decrease by 15%.

Dropping bombs: My grandfather has a big passion for fishing. So he used to go to this small lake and sit for hours with his fishing can waiting for a fish to bite the fly. Hours spent without any result on the border of the lake. But this was his passion. And another passion where explosives. So after four hours he just put away the can and dropped a bomb in the water. In a second all the fish came on the surface.
I was talking with a friend of mine for Harvard. He said that in the sorroundings of the campus girls hear the teachers from the business school and they quickly learn the NPV. And they are quite good in calculating your NPV in a club. So after hours in the club without girls talking to you, HBS students that feel really desperate just drop the HBS bomb in the coversation. Big fishing!
Fortunately here in New York the Italian/BCG/Columbia bomb is not needed.

Dimishing marginal returs: Another result is that the rule of diminishing returns apply to girls but not to men. To explain the rule, pick for example a tractor. If you give a tractor to a farmer in the US the incremental benefit for working the land is minimum because he already has tractor and probably he is not able to exploit the whole benefits of the new one. But if u give it to a farmer in Mozambique, he can improve productivity by 1000%!
Now, if a girl met 10 men she can be interested in let's say 3 of them. If you give her 20 men, she is interested in 5 (not 6).. if you give her 50 she can be interested in 6! Why? Because girls tend to maximize the function MAX(value_of_each_man). The more, the more picky is the choice.
Men follow just a straight line. Meet 10 girls, interested in 5. Meet 20 girls, interested in 10, meet 30 15... and so on. Why? Because men try to maximize the function SUM(value_of_each girls). The more, the better.

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8:08 PM


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