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Vlerchan
November 7th, 2016, 05:20 PM
In Defense of Protectionism and Arranged Marriages

We've got our aristocracy - or Not! - and now its time to start thinking about the martial culture in our society. Like any god, I'm very interested in who you are about to have sex with.

So, one of my friend's wants to break up with her boyfriend and in a recent discussion she told me that she didn't want to lose out on the investment she'd made*. The operate word here is 'invest': in selecting a boyfriend she was in fact investing in someone with an expectation of a return. This is because the marriage market - as I will refer to it from here on out - holds the same characteristics of the usual economic market**. Think of Love like brand-loyalty I guess. The competition is what we would refer to as imperfect of monopolistic: it's possible for some sellers to hold market-power.

Market power, will be important later, so Google it if you have no idea what I am talking about.

The share of men who are childless at age 45 rose from 14 percent in 1985 to 23 percent in 2013.

The share of women who had not become mothers by age 45 increased from 10 percent in 1985 to 13 percent in 2013.

http://sciencenordic.com/quarter-norwegian-men-never-father-children

That's an interesting statistic - huh. It seems that whilst men had an increased likelihood of living without reproductive success - the number has spiked in the last number of years***. It has remained much more constant for women. What's important is that there is a gap - implying re-utilization of some men: the article refers to it as 'recycling' - and it's growing. Thus, there's a much less equal distribution of market power among men than there is among women.

But perhaps men want to be Bachelors. Children are boring after all.

Both men and women in Norway answer in studies that having children is an important part of life. Few men or women consciously decide against having them. The desire to have kids has not changed,” says An-Magritt Jensen.

ibid

Nope. Let's discard that hypothesis - though, for impartialities sake, the evidence on whether men or women suffer more, with regards to loneliness and depression, seems somewhat mixed (Koropeckyj-Cox 1996 (http://parc.pop.upenn.edu/sites/parc.pop.upenn.edu/files/parc/PARCwps96-02.pdf); Zhang and Hayward 2001 (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mark_Hayward5/publication/11822649_Childlessness_and_the_psychological_well-being_of_older_persons/links/00b4952e97a0317f53000000.pdf); Hadley 2013 (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robin_Hadley/publication/215559065_Involuntarily_childless_men_and_the_desire_for_fatherhood/links/00b495215d702ea299000000.pdf))****. Perhaps instead we should look to the lives of the people of Chimbu courtesy of the ever-reliable, PsychologyToday. Let's note in particular where it claims, 'rubbish men never married, because their kinsmen considered them such losers that they would not contribute to their purchase of a wife (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-evolving-father/201311/non-dads-or-childless-men).' It refers to these men, rather kindly, as failing as a result of populating the 'statistical tail-end' of the distribution. It notes then, examining the real world, that a man's likelihood of having children is inversely proportional to his level of income.

Ding, ding, ding. It seems like we might be on a winner.

It seems - like in every market - men who are 'at the statistical tail-end', to re-enjoy that eupherism, have a hard time succeeding. This - though we have much less evidence - we can imagine as occurring the same to women. These men are out-competed and experience considerable net welfare losses as a result - loneliness, depression, feelings of isolation. But that's not the interesting bit. If this is a market surely we can model the consequences of the great liberalization of the sexual revolution - just like we model the Reaganite neoliberal revolution. Why, yes. Yes, we can. And, that is where it gets interesting.

One would expect in a traditional search market where market power doesn't persist, perfect matching. But market persists. As a result, the disproportionate accrual of welfare gains at the 'good' tail increase in a situation where market-power increases. Under Liberalizarion goods become unevenly excludable across time, and rival: Or, in other words, capable of being appropriated by multiple parties at different periods across time. Or, it is possible for men to end things with a current partner and go back onto the market and find a new partner. This creates greater incentives for women to hold out and avoid tail-end men since the number of others in the distribution has effectively increased*****. [Pop quiz., what would happen under Polygamous relations?]

That's a welfare argument for a return to pre-Sexual Revolution ethics, straight off. But, the point was to exposure the broader welfare losses that are incurred with any liberalization. Being as markets are imperfect there is a number of men and women who go without matches, irrespective, imposing costs. It would be - in this case, where there welfare costs are considerable: and one would expect them to be - to arrange marriages between all men and women in a society. Whilst matching is imperfect, where matches remain intelligent through planning, it ensures that there is a wider distribution of welfare.

This doesn't need to be through families but rather can be organised through computation, matching characteristics and goals. It is, frankly, the most Egalitarian solution, for any individual who professes a preference for this solution, it would seem tyrannical to oppose it.

In the long-run it might be better for our society for the tail-end men to be bred out since it is indicated that they possess sub-optimal traits that shouldn't be maintained in the system. We would see an elevation of traits determined through societal negation to be optimal. But such is tantamount to Eugenics, and Hitler supported Eugenics.

Just like unrestrained economic liberalism, and for similar reasons, sexual liberalism produces phenomena of absolute pauperization . Some men make love every day; others five or six times in their life, or never. Some make love with dozens of women; others with none. It's what's known as 'the law of the market'...Economic liberalism is an extension of the domain of the struggle, its extension to all ages and all classes of society. Sexual liberalism is likewise an extension of the domain of the struggle, its extension to all ages and all classes of society.

Michel Houellebecq, Whatever

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* This is called the Fallacy of Sunk Costs. But that is for another time.

** Here's some notes courtesy of Columbia University (http://www.cemmap.ac.uk/resources/chiappori/all_slides.pdf), which I haven't read either.

*** This is surely interesting where it is probably a tight correlate with participation in a meaningful, long-term relationship.

**** I came up with this hypothesis on my commute home. No, I haven't read the papers. I'm willing to bet they are not fantastic but then sociology research never is.

***** I am highlighting men because the expansion of their market-power was much greater than the expansion that occurred to women. This highlights that the trend doesn't occur equally across the sexes.

phuckphace
November 7th, 2016, 05:35 PM
I'm impressed with myself that I immediately thought "sunk cost fallacy" when reading the beginning of the OP, before it was mentioned. that's one of the dumber impulses people have that makes very little sense in most situations but is especially terrible when you're talking a relationship.

applying economics to things like sex and relationships has always rubbed me the wrong way - I think because it brings to mind the creepy and embarrassing MRA/MGTOW arguments that use terms like "the vagina-monopoly" and other such doozies that make me pine for the return of Hitler (thankfully less than 24 more hours to go).

I think the West ditching arranged marriages is one of the best things we've done after glancing at the Third World where it continues and how revolting it can be (Indian family marrying off their 13 year old daughter to a leering old hairy pedo with a unibrow, etc.)

Vlerchan
November 7th, 2016, 05:58 PM
applying economics to things like sex and relationships has always rubbed me the wrong way - I think because it brings to mind the creepy and embarrassing MRA/MGTOW arguments that use terms like "the vagina-monopoly" and other such doozies [...]
I'm impartial: there's good and bad extensions of economic principals - really, it is all just utility-maximization and rationality - to the social sphere. The MRAs, though I have never read a single one of their writings, seems like it might be one of the bad ones.

It's probably more problematic when the claims that can't possibility be empirically verified, are taken too seriously.

This is intended more as a thought experiment though, than a sophisticated piece of economic reasoning. I want to see our resident liberals pander to social conservatism in defense of the proletariat. I'm a bad person like that.

... pine for the return of Hitler (thankfully less than 24 more hours to go).
Speaking of Hitler, this post was brought on by my reading of the latest Ross Douthat piece (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/06/opinion/sunday/the-post-familial-election.html?_r=0). Would be interested in yours, and others, thoughts.

[...] glancing at the Third World where it continues and how revolting it can be (Indian family marrying off their 13 year old daughter to a leering old hairy pedo with a unibrow, etc.)glancing at the Third World where it continues and how revolting it can be (Indian family marrying off their 13 year old daughter to a leering old hairy pedo with a unibrow, etc.)
But obviously us Westerners would be superior in our practice - no?

I also believe that arranged marriages - not coerced, but matched - is a practice that still persists in the Jewish community.

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I also await Porpoise101's interjection.

Porpoise101
November 8th, 2016, 05:26 PM
I also await Porpoise101's interjection.
Interjection incoming.

I am pretty ambivalent towards arranged marriages. They are pretty common in India, although that is changing a little. I think that Vlerchan laid out the pros for it fairly well. The man is put under due scrutiny and the woman's family inspects him to see if he is in a good financial situation before selecting and matching. I know this process fairly well after seeing some of my Indian cousins get married. While none were in an actual arranged marriage, the family does get the final say essentially. I remember, one of my male cousins was stressing out because he would be 'marrying up' and his want-to-be bride's family was skeptical of having their daughter marry a measly banker. To compensate, he had to lay out his case pretty well, and he did. What I'm getting at is that arranged marriages (or at least having family oversight) makes people strive for greatness and matches the best with the best (financially). Many of my friends are the result of arranged marriages and they are alright. Arranged marriage is common throughout the world. It's in India, Pakistan, China, and other not-western countries. But it is also found among the elites of the world. It's just another practice to keep the wealth and success in the family.

The downside I see with arranged marriage is that it can result in terrible things. phuckphace rightly mentioned child marriages, and he is correct; they are terrible. Additionally, domestic abuse is common in cultures with (http://www.ideasforindia.in/article.aspx?article_id=105) with arranged marriages. India is one example, but this can be found elsewhere. Since arranged marriages are based on financial success, they aren't based on social success like 'love marriages' are. That means have a bunch of antisocial, but at least semi-successful dorks getting married to people they don't have the social skills to deal others in some situations. So in that respect, arranged marriages fall short on getting likable, socially adept people married unless their job relates to that.

Vlerchan
November 11th, 2016, 04:50 PM
Additionally, domestic abuse is common in cultures with with arranged marriages. India is one example, but this can be found elsewhere.
Is it possible that cultural embrace of arranged marriages and domestic violence both correlate with, and are driven by, cultural patriarchy?

Paraxiom
November 11th, 2016, 08:39 PM
We've got our aristocracy - or Not! - and now its time to start thinking about the martial culture in our society. Like any god, I'm very interested in who you are about to have sex with.

Do you mean 'marital' instead of 'martial'? (I expect so, but just in case.)

I respectfully suggest that comparably only a few gods are interested in sex lives, but if you mainly mean the general Christian populace's views, I certainly agree.

(I also have not forgotten about your anarcho-capitalism post, which I will respond to when I have enough time and effort to.)


So, one of my friend's wants to break up with her boyfriend and in a recent discussion she told me that she didn't want to lose out on the investment she'd made*. The operate word here is 'invest': in selecting a boyfriend she was in fact investing in someone with an expectation of a return. This is because the marriage market - as I will refer to it from here on out - holds the same characteristics of the usual economic market**. Think of Love like brand-loyalty I guess. The competition is what we would refer to as imperfect of monopolistic: it's possible for some sellers to hold market-power.

Alright, so the value of relationships through the lenses of economics. Not often talked about.


Market power, will be important later, so Google it if you have no idea what I am talking about.

The share of men who are childless at age 45 rose from 14 percent in 1985 to 23 percent in 2013.

The share of women who had not become mothers by age 45 increased from 10 percent in 1985 to 13 percent in 2013.

http://sciencenordic.com/quarter-norwegian-men-never-father-children

That's an interesting statistic - huh. It seems that whilst men had an increased likelihood of living without reproductive success - the number has spiked in the last number of years***. It has remained much more constant for women.

So the proportion of childless men has increased more than the proportion of childless women has in the past near-30 years. (I'm responding like this because I need to clearly see what you mean through parts.)


What's important is that there is a gap - implying re-utilization of some men: the article refers to it as 'recycling' - and it's growing. Thus, there's a much less equal distribution of market power among men than there is among women.

But perhaps men want to be Bachelors. Children are boring after all.

I looked up 'market power' and I'm not sure where that (or an analog of it) goes with the proportions of childless men and women here.

[I was going to go on but I realise I need to get this before trying to do anything else.]

Vlerchan
November 11th, 2016, 08:46 PM
Do you mean 'marital' instead of 'martial'? (I expect so, but just in case.)

I respectfully suggest that comparably only a few gods are interested in sex lives, but if you mainly mean the general Christian populace's views, I certainly agree.
I meant marital, and it was a joke :P.

So the proportion of childless men has increased more than the proportion of childless women has in the past near-30 years. (I'm responding like this because I need to clearly see what you mean through parts.)
Yes.

I looked up 'market power' and I'm not sure where that (or an analog of it) goes with the proportions of childless men and women here.

[I was going to go on but I realise I need to get this before trying to do anything else.]
It's best explained in the quote at the bottom. Some men are capable of sleeping with lots of women - and having children with them - whilst other men will never get the chance. There is a clearly unequal diffusion of sexual prowess across the populous but this seems to be related stronger to men.

Porpoise101
November 14th, 2016, 04:25 PM
Is it possible that cultural embrace of arranged marriages and domestic violence both correlate with, and are driven by, cultural patriarchy?
As far as the arranged marriages go, I'd have to say no. Even in traditionally matriarchal societies in India for example, they still had arranged marriages historically.

When it comes to domestic violence though, that I see as more of a result of a disparity in education/human capital. If the wife has little value besides being a means for progeny, then the husband has less incentive to actually treat her well. If the wife instead helps pay bills and supports the family, the husband has more of an interest in giving respect to the wife. This is not perfect I must add, because when emotions are involved it gets more complicated then this.

Hermes
November 21st, 2016, 12:52 PM
...woman's family inspects him to see if he is in a good financial situation before selecting and matching.

In which case the arranged marriage is doing what the market would otherwise have done. As such, in your example at least, it doesn't solve the problem Vlerchan was claiming it might be a solution for, i.e. matching up the least marketable men with the those women who can attract no better.

I guess the socially interesting point is whether "those in the tail of the distribution" would actually prosper in a relationship when matched with one of the same.

But it is also found among the elites of the world. It's just another practice to keep the wealth and success in the family.

Indeed much I what I have come across suggests that the Aristocracy have always chosen partners which were suiatble for their station in life. to provide heirs etc. and then gone ahead and carried on with who they really fancy as a kind of open secret. I'm not sure how you model that behaviour with ecconomic theory.

Porpoise101
November 21st, 2016, 06:25 PM
In which case the arranged marriage is doing what the market would otherwise have done.

Not necessarily. The market works on the wills of people. People may marry a more 'suitable' person (as deemed by the family) if they have pressure to. The market will tend to produce less segregated outcomes, as social pressures and economic demands of the family are not always aligned with the individual desires of the individual.

Indeed much I what I have come across suggests that the Aristocracy have always chosen partners which were suiatble for their station in life. to provide heirs etc. and then gone ahead and carried on with who they really fancy as a kind of open secret. I'm not sure how you model that behaviour with ecconomic theory.

By station in life, surely you mean class. A prince could have impregnated any wench, but they (usually) didn't. Instead they chose to marry those who were wealthy. Those who were wealthy were of the similar social status until modernization happened. Then things got more complex, but soon enough the wealthy industrialists were able to marry heiresses. Aristocracy was not the initial focus anyways, by elites I meant those who are in the current upper classes. There is a tendency to practice "assortative selection (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/upshot/rise-in-marriages-of-equals-and-in-division-by-class.html?_r=0)."