The Economics of Faking Ecstasy
Hugo M. Mialon
Emory University - Department of Economics
October 25, 2010
We develop a signaling model of rational lovemaking. In the act of lovemaking, a man and a woman send each other possibly deceptive signals about their true state of ecstasy. For example, if one of the partners is not in ecstasy, then he or she may decide to fake it. The model predicts that (1) a higher cost of faking lowers the probability of faking; (2) middle-aged and old men are more likely to fake than young men; (3) young and old women are more likely to fake than middle-aged women; and (4) love, formally defined as a mixture of altruism and demand for togetherness, increases the likelihood of faking. The predictions are tested with data from the 2000 Orgasm Survey. Besides supporting the model’s predictions, the data also reveal an interesting positive relationship between education and the tendency to fake in both men and women.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: Economics, Ecstasy, Faking, Signaling, Love, Age, Education
JEL Classification: D82, J16working papers series
Date posted: July 17, 2007 ; Last revised: October 25, 2010
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