I think it is pretty clear that I like funny graphs. There are many such items on the Internet, so I see a lot more of them than I actually post. I liked the following one, but thought that it wasn’t quite post worthy on its own, for example:
Obviously, my initial thought was “or maybe it’s because you spend all of your time posting nerdy graphs on the Internet.” And then I spent a while deciding whether I wanted to be the pot or the kettle. (I chose the pot, in case you are curious. I think it’s because I can’t whistle.) While I was contemplating this, a friend reminded me of the following xkcd comic:
*sigh* Somewhere at the edge of the bell curve is the guy for me…
Hm. I feel like I should add in something economics-y here just out of principle. Luckily, this line of reasoning reminds me of a paper by Claudia Goldin and Larry Katz entitled “The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions” that basically shows that the wide availability of birth control has in fact widened the dating pool for older people. (I think the authors refer to the phenomenon as creating a “thicker marriage market” than previously existed at older ages.) Here’s the abstract of the paper (again, lots of words):
The fraction of U.S. college graduate women entering professional programs increased substantially just after 1970, and the age at first marriage among all U.S. college graduate women began to soar around the same year. We explore the relationship between these two changes and the diffusion of the birth control pill (“the pill”) among young, unmarried college graduate women. Although the pill was approved in 1960 by the Food and Drug Administration and spread rapidly among married women, it did not diffuse among young, single women until the late 1960s after state law changes reduced the age of majority and extended “mature minor” decisions. We present both descriptive time series and formal econometric evidence that exploit cross‐state and cross‐cohort variation in pill availability to young, unmarried women, establishing the “power of the pill” in lowering the costs of long‐duration professional education for women and raising the age at first marriage.
I cannot stop chuckling at how much more extensive Claudia’s wikipedia page (linked to above) is than Larry’s. I also find it funny that Claudia and Larry write about the economics of marriage and family and are involved in some sort of long-term on-again off-again relationship that I cannot claim to understand. I suppose those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach? 🙂