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  • 10.06.2019
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Dating Study Says Singles With Options Go For Hotties : NPR

Professor Paul Oyer: The Economics of Dating, Job Hunting, and More

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Planet Money. NPR - Business National Public Radio . # Speed Dating For Economists, May 05, , Listen · # A Chat With Ben Bernanke. Marketplace Morning Report” gets you up to speed on what you missed when you were sleeping, kicking off each weekday with a global business update from . We visit a job market created by economists, for economists. It's a hyper-efficient, optimized system, tested by game theorists, tweaked by a Nobel Prize winner.

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Speed dating for economists npr

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It's like speed dating for economists. And sometimes you've got to run to the next interview. SHU: All right, so here we're, like, four minutes late. National Public Radio. finishthetrail.com . Right now hopeful young economists are sprinting around Atlanta from hotel room to hotel room. They have a system that looks a lot like speed dating. Economists think they've found a way to make the job market run more smoothly. And as Robert Smith from PLANET MONEY reports, the economics profession is trying it out. SMITH: I've been trying to keep up with Julian Shu.

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MA: And this is actually a real problem that happened in the econ job market not too long ago.

Economists noticed that a lot of really great candidates like Julian weren't getting offers even though they aced their interviews. SMITH: The only thing an economist loves more than a perfect market is finding the one flaw in an otherwise perfect market.

So these are economists.

This is the national economist convention. The best minds in economics were recruited to figure out what was going wrong. One of those minds? Alvin Roth. He won a Nobel Prize for his work on market design.

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He developed the way organ donors are matched with patients. This guy is a legend. He says the problem boiled down to this fundamental economic concept. The economist job market made it so easy to apply for jobs that a lot of people were applying to places they had no interest in, they would never go to, like Julian. We told Roth that Julian applied to - get this - jobs.

It's not unheard of, obviously. But lots of people apply to jobs, so it's not an extraordinary number. He didn't want to crack down and limit the number of applications. Instead, he came up with a plan to add a little bit of extra information into the system. ROTH: The American Economic Association now runs a website through which before the interviews are formalized, candidates can send up to two signals of interest. Everyone wants to wink at Harvard. But think of an employer that holds a special place in your heart, a place you wouldn't mind going if you don't get into Harvard.

Now, this sounds like a small tweak to the system, but it made all the difference. Now schools could look through the hundreds of applications and see if there was someone who really loved them. MA: Just in case that doesn't work out, Roth also helped develop this kind of safety net for applicants who don't get any job offers. If by the spring they're still looking for a match, they can go online and see who's still hiring. Now 97 percent of people who go through this speed-dating race find a job by the summer.

It is Sunday afternoon and Julian Shu is finally done. He collapses into a chair in the lobby. MA: The last interview was with Amazon. They're hiring a ton of economists these days. And Julian pulls up a huge bag of Amazon swag and dumps it on the table.

SHU: My foot hurts. I know you're a radio show, but - you can't see this, but basically I have a cut on my right Twenty-two interviews.

A young woman tries speed dating to find the man of her dreams. - Speed Dating

Julian has gone on more interviews in one weekend than I think I've gone on in my entire life. MA: Yeah, and Julian himself is a little different. When we first met him at the beginning of the weekend he was, like, raring to go, confident. And he said his strategy was basically to get as many job offers as he could. Now he seems a little more philosophical.

SHU: Because sometimes it's just you figuring out that you don't want this job or this job doesn't want you because you're just not a good fit for each other. And I think managing that expectation is really important. After you walk out and both people go, oh, that was great, like, that's good.

You leave the interview and everyone goes, oh, that was bad, that's also good because you've agreed that this was not something that you want to do. I honestly expected that by the time we had flown back to New York City Julian would be calling us about his job offers. But it did not go down that way. Something was about to throw the economics job market into turmoil. And it was much worse than a snowstorm or tray of bad clams.

Coming up after this. MA: We kept checking in with Julian to see how it was going. And pretty quickly, he got offers for second-round interviews. University of Oklahoma brought him to campus so he could meet the faculty.

Took him out to a nice Italian dinner. MA: But then the market dried up. Fifteen days after we saw Julian in Chicago, the new president of the United States Donald Trump put a freeze on all federal hiring. He sent his special secret love wink to the Census Bureau. And then they all said to him, hey, we just can't hire anyone right now. SHU: And so I continued waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting.

And the back - in the back of my head, I'm still freaking out. He didn't want to go to the university and have to face everyone. SHU: Around this time, other people had been getting job offers. And I just didn't really want to talk to anyone. And I think, they have a job. I don't have a job, all right. He had to network.

He'd been talking on and off with someone from the College Board. That's the company that runs the SATs. MA: And the College Board wasn't in Chicago this year, but they did have an opening for an economist.

And Julian worked hi connections. And in March, Julian got the phone call. He was offered a job as an economist in the Philadelphia office of the College Board. SHU: So you missed me last night. So I was jumping around and sort of screaming. You know, I was like, ah ph I have a job offer, right? It's like this - this is like, I'm just really excited. SMITH: I feel like we should've seen this coming, like, that this is one of those romantic comedies where the hero is doing all of this dating online.

But then, of course, at the end, finds his soulmate, you know, at the supermarket or something. MA: Laughter It's tempting to try and draw some lessons here, right?

But Julian is an economist. He's into big data, and he'd be the first to say his experience is just one data point.

He's got lots of friends and colleagues who got jobs through their three days in Chicago. For most people, it worked great. Hey, for most people, it works great. But I'm hoping this whole thing provides a good lesson. You know, maybe the last economics lesson for Julian to bring into his new career that, you know, even the most efficiently designed market has tiny cracks. It doesn't work for everyone. And you're not going to get a Nobel Prize for saying it, but sometimes you need a little luck, a little nudging to make a market work.

We'll keep on making jokes with our good friends. Don't ever think you're alone, you know it's not true. Never say you're a ghost 'cause your life is like gold.

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We visit a job market created by economists, for economists. It's a hyper-efficient, optimized system, tested by game theorists, tweaked. Speed Dating For. Behold the Planet Money economic platform,.Tom Gjelten is Religion Correspondent for NPR. documenting the transition to. We visit a job market created by economists, for economists. It's a hyper-efficient, optimized system, tested by game theorists, tweaked by a.

I am Radio Smith. They have a new episode out about what they are looking forward to, and more importantly, what they are dreading from the suburb movie season. You can find that on npr. I'm Robert Smith. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc.

This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Don't Tell Me! NPR Shop. The next step was to show up at the resort, about an hour southwest of Milwaukee, with ski gear and an open mind.

She says it's important that whomever she dates likes outdoor activities just as much as she does. I'm really looking for someone to be an adventure partner. Kamke was standing near the fire pit on a 30 degree day, listening to a carefully curated soundtrack of love songs, waiting to be paired with another skiier by professional matchmaker, Meghan Costantino.

Costantino says online dating has its drawbacks, and nothing beats actually meeting someone in person.

It's really the connection you have with someone. Once the matchmaker groups the couples, they head to the ski lift. They have just three minutes to decide if its a good match — that's the amount of time it takes to get from the bottom of the hill to the top of the hill on the lift. Michelle Kamke is paired with year-old Troy Morris — also an avid skier: "I love skiing," he said.

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