The definition of externalities involve effects, positive or negative, on third parties. If decisions impose costs on others and decision makers ignore the third party effects, poor decisions can result. Decisions about dating and particularly marriage can have enormous impacts on our lives and happiness. Do spillover or externality effects justify regulation or litigation of decisions in marriage markets? Should a person whose marriage proposal is rejected have the ability to make an argument before either a judge or regulator that their interests were not being properly weighed and evaluated in the decision? What about the interests of potential suitors who will never get to try to woo someone because they are â€œoff the market?â€ If you think that there is no parallel between costs imposed on others through production or consumption of goods and services and the â€œharmsâ€ involved in dating and marriage decisions, why?
There isn’t really a market for dating and marriage, so the term market is being used somewhat figuratively here. People do interact and make choices which lead to matches, and the search for a partner could be seen as similar to the labor market, where both businesses and job seekers are looking for a very good match.
And clearly decisions by one person have impacts on other people in the dating and marriage “market” which could be thought of analogous to negative externalities. So what I want you to think and write about is, does it seem reasonable to think about the marriage market as having lots of externalities? Externalities due to pollution often lead to value for government regulation, and so if the marriage market is full of externalities, does this mean that the marriage market should be extensively regulated as well?
You can either think it’s helpful to apply the concept of externalities in the marriage market, or not helpful. Try to explain whether you think it is or is not helpful and appropriate (in terms of helping us understand what is happening) to make this application or not.
Write 2 to 3 pages on this topic.