Jen’s Library – Spousonomics

Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes
by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson

Every now and then I browse, trying to find new books I may enjoy reading. I check out the “people who bought this also bought” section, because it usually leads me to similar books, or authors with similar styles, so I can start with a book I enjoyed and use it as a stepping stone to new books.

I read Freakonomics quite a while ago, and loved how they took economic principles and used them to explain all sorts of things that really don’t seem to have anything to do with economics, like sumo wrestlers, prostitutes, and crime rates. So using that as a jumping-off point, Amazon suggested “Spousonomics”, and I thought it may be worth a try. From the little blurb, it seemed like they’d be applying economic principles to relationships, which is an interesting idea. And when I got the book at the library, all of the reviews on the book jacket are by authors of other works I’ve liked! Promising!

Sadly, it didn’t live up to the hype. It’s a marriage-advice book, peppered with economics terms. If you don’t like fighting, you’re risk-averse. Chores and sex are on a supply and demand curve. We all need incentives, like wall street executives, to get things done.

I wasn’t looking for marital advice! I was hoping for some sociology and psychology mixed up with economics, an insight into how economic principles may affect interpersonal relationships. and I didn’t get that. I got a sort of Dr. Phil advice book with all sorts of examples of real life couples who could totally fix their marriages if they only applied these principles!

Skip it. Unless you’re an economist and your marriage is in trouble, in which case this book might be a godsend.

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