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Spousonomics Fun Fact #1

Spousonomics Fun Fact #1

Ratings:

3.72

(34)
|Views: 1,003 |Likes:
Are you happy in your marriage—except for those weekly spats over who empties the dishwasher more often? Not a single complaint—unless you count the fact that you haven’t had sex since the Bush administration? Prepared to be there in sickness and in health—so long as it doesn’t mean compromising? Be honest: Ever lay awake thinking how much more fun married life used to be?

If you’re a member of the human race, then the answer is probably “yes” to all of the above. Marriage is a mysterious, often irrational business. Making it work till death do you part—or just till the end of the week—isn’t always easy. And no one ever handed you a user’s manual.

Until now. With Spousonomics, Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson offer something new: a clear-eyed, rational route to demystifying your disagreements and improving your relationship. The key, they propose, is to think like an economist.

That’s right: an economist.

Economics is the study of resource allocation, after all. How do we—as partners in a society, a business, or a marriage—spend our limited time, money, and energy? And how do we allocate these resources most efficiently? Spousonomics answers these questions by taking classic economic concepts and applying them to the domestic front. For example:

• Arguing all night isn’t a sign of a communication breakdown; you’re just extremely loss-averse—and by refusing to give an inch, you’re risking even greater losses.
• Stay late at the office, or come home for dinner? Be honest about your mother-in-law, or keep your mouth shut and smile? Let the cost-benefit analysis make the call.
• Getting your spouse to clean the gutters isn’t a matter of nagging or guilt-tripping; it’s a question of finding the right incentives.
• Being “too busy” to exercise or forgetting your anniversary (again): your overtaxed memory and hectic schedule aren’t to blame—moral hazard is.
• And when it comes to having more sex: merely a question of supply and demand!

Spousonomics cuts through the noise of emotions, egos, and tired relationship clichés. Here, at last, is a smart, funny, refreshingly realistic, and deeply researched book that brings us one giant leap closer to solving the age-old riddle of a happy, healthy marriage.
Are you happy in your marriage—except for those weekly spats over who empties the dishwasher more often? Not a single complaint—unless you count the fact that you haven’t had sex since the Bush administration? Prepared to be there in sickness and in health—so long as it doesn’t mean compromising? Be honest: Ever lay awake thinking how much more fun married life used to be?

If you’re a member of the human race, then the answer is probably “yes” to all of the above. Marriage is a mysterious, often irrational business. Making it work till death do you part—or just till the end of the week—isn’t always easy. And no one ever handed you a user’s manual.

Until now. With Spousonomics, Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson offer something new: a clear-eyed, rational route to demystifying your disagreements and improving your relationship. The key, they propose, is to think like an economist.

That’s right: an economist.

Economics is the study of resource allocation, after all. How do we—as partners in a society, a business, or a marriage—spend our limited time, money, and energy? And how do we allocate these resources most efficiently? Spousonomics answers these questions by taking classic economic concepts and applying them to the domestic front. For example:

• Arguing all night isn’t a sign of a communication breakdown; you’re just extremely loss-averse—and by refusing to give an inch, you’re risking even greater losses.
• Stay late at the office, or come home for dinner? Be honest about your mother-in-law, or keep your mouth shut and smile? Let the cost-benefit analysis make the call.
• Getting your spouse to clean the gutters isn’t a matter of nagging or guilt-tripping; it’s a question of finding the right incentives.
• Being “too busy” to exercise or forgetting your anniversary (again): your overtaxed memory and hectic schedule aren’t to blame—moral hazard is.
• And when it comes to having more sex: merely a question of supply and demand!

Spousonomics cuts through the noise of emotions, egos, and tired relationship clichés. Here, at last, is a smart, funny, refreshingly realistic, and deeply researched book that brings us one giant leap closer to solving the age-old riddle of a happy, healthy marriage.

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Publish date: Feb 8, 2011
Added to Scribd: Feb 03, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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debsanswers reviewed this
Rated 5/5
I really like this, it makes sense to me. It offers real solutions to day-to-day issues. I think this book could be helpful to most marriages, no marriage is perfect, they all take work. None of the ideas are complicated and they use examples of actual couples to explain each concept. The focus is on marriage, but some of the techniques could be helpful in relationships with other family members. I copied this review from goodreads, I won this advance uncorrected proof proof through the first reads program. I am glad I won this, I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. I do wish I could see the cover better, mine is plain.
bookworm12_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
A great read for any married couple. The authors take case studies with honest answers from a variety of couples and they apply economic principles to their problems. They manage to do it with humor and make the potentially boring subject incredibly entertaining and relatable. I’m not big on self-help books, marriage books, etc. They just never seem to interest me enough to read the whole thing, but I couldn’t put this one down. Think about it as Freakonomics for marriage. I loved hearing about the issues couples were dealing with. Some were ones I could relate to, others weren’t, but all of them were interesting.
timtom_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
As with the majority of self-help books, Spousonomics is mainly about the systematization of common sense. But unlike other self-help books, it is quite open about that systematization, and that's what makes it stand out. Its authors, both economists and (apparently happily) married women, explain how to apply some basic economics methods to common coupledom problems. The result is not terribly interesting, but fun to read nevertheless.
zibilee_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
In this new and revolutionary self-help book, authors Szuchman and Anderson tackle the problems of marriage in a way that has never been considered before. What if you could organize your marriage and make it better by applying the principles of economics to one of the most personal relationships in your life? Sound kind of boring? Well, surprisingly, it’s not boring at all. Keeping everything at a layman’s level, the authors explain how game theory can bust through any argument you may be having and how division of labor can help you get out of doing the most awful and time-consuming chores. They explain how to use incentives to get what you want and what happens when one spouse has more information about a subject under discussion than the other. They teach us about moral hazard and why it can be a killer to any marriage, and why intertemporal choice is so important to healthy and happy marriages. In all of these sections, they interview real couples and get down to the nitty-gritty with each of them to discuss what’s gone wrong and how to fix it. Did I mention that this book is also very funny? Because it is, and not just funny, it will make you think about marriage in a way you’ve never thought about it before. Whether you are newly married or have been married for several years, Spousonomics is a refreshing and interesting way to look at life with your partner, and to maybe help get him to do the dishes once in awhile.I have to admit that I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to economics, but it’s been awhile since I’ve studied it, and for all intents and purposes, most of the information I once had is very rusty or has flown the coop altogether. That’s one of the reasons I had mixed feelings about reading and reviewing this book. Would it be dry and dusty, the way I sometimes remember studying economics being? Or would it go over my head now that I’ve forgotten all that I had learned? There was no need for me to worry though, because this book hit it out of the park on all levels. It was smart enough to get its point across, even to people who may know nothing about economics, and it was funny and personable enough to catch my interest from the very beginning.Each chapter begins with a different economic principle and breaks it down in a digestible and clear way that anyone can understand. Often a colorful example of how this principle works is shared as well. Then we get to the good stuff: the couple interviews. Each section shares the story of three different couples and how they met. Many of these couples are offbeat and strange, making this a very interesting reading experience. Each couple has a big problem relating to the economic principle being discussed and each of them finally gets a solution after having laid it all out on the line. I liked this approach a lot, because lets face it, I’m a bit of a voyeur when it comes to other people’s relationships and I like to see how different people act within the confines of their marriages. It was interesting to get to see how the assorted couples had been dealing with their problems and how they could become better communicators and partners based on some simple principles of economics that are clear and easy to understand.I liked this book a lot, and aside from the pleasure I got from getting a birds-eye view into several marriages and the laugh out loud moments of humor that were scattered throughout, I found that a lot of these principles were relevant to me and could help me in some ways. And it’s not that I have an awful marriage. Just like anyone’s relationship, there are things that could be more smooth and areas where I would like either my spouse or I to improve. And that’s the thing about this book. There is no blame or shame attached to these solutions. These are not people in the serious throes of relationship hell. In fact, they’re people just like you or me. People trying to maximize the time spent together versus the time spent on chores. People who have different priorities about money or who want to make more time for sex. In a clear and universal way, this book seeks to make all these things easier for you, and to enlighten you about a few things you may have never thought about. It’s a heady combination of exposés that delve deeply into the relationships between several couples, and an instruction manual that will let even the most timid and shy partner take control in their marriage.One of the things I liked best was the book’s sly conversational feel and its no-nonsense approach to some of the problems that any couple could face. Reading this book felt like sitting with a couple of very smart and funny women who had a competitive edge in the field of marriage and who didn’t mind sharing it with me. It was a refreshingly honest approach, and there was no talk of man-caves or any of that other silliness. Just a principle, an example and a solution underscored with variations or helpful tips. The book took instructive relationship advice to a new level that any smart woman would be eager to read and apply. It was a lot of fun to read for a lot of reasons, and without man-bashing, (or woman-bashing for that matter) it taught some very interesting techniques that seem to be useful and easy to apply.I had a great time with this book, and perhaps it was the high level of humor that made me feel like this wasn’t your average self-help book. It had wit and sparkle while still being helpful and unique. Who knew that economic principles and relationships could intersect in this way, and who knew that I would find it so entertaining? If you’re looking for a great book that deals with relationships in a rational, and more importantly, sane way, this book is probably your best bet. I think a lot of readers will be surprised at how much good information is passed along and how fun it can be to peek into the lives of men and women who are just like us, but subtly different. I can heartily recommend this book for a lot of reasons, but the main reason is that it’s just plain fun. Recommended.
macart3 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
"Spousonomics" is funny, practical, and intriguing way of looking at marriage. These two authors, who both work for well-known financial newspapers, use econ theories to get readers to figure out how to be more statisfied with the chores of daily marriage life. Basically, don't worry that the chore list isn't split 50/50. Focus on what you don't think is a chore and do it. Also, try different kinds of chores, even some new ones, to increase happiness. Even though I told you the gist of the book, it's no excuse to not read it. I throughly enjoyed reading this book and some of the writing was laugh out loud hilarious. I'd get their next book.
girlsgonereading reviewed this
Rated 3/5
True, Spousonomics is about economics, and it is about improving the problems in your marriage. Two topics that are usually so serious that they aren’t funny. But, Spousonomics is funny, and it helped me ask some questions I probably should have asked a decade ago.Spousonomics uses economic principles to deal with typical marriage problems, and truthfully I was expecting something more like Freakonomics for marriages. Instead, Spousonomics uses economic ideas to tackle your daily issues: dishes, sex, in-laws. Don’t pick this book up if you are dealing with infidelity, the loss of the child, bankruptcy, or major illness. Spousonomics doesn’t set out to solve the HUGE problems that disrupt our lives. Instead, it works on the day-to-day issues that make marriage less fun than it used to be.For me, Spousonomics was not that helpful, but I think that might just be me. Luckily, I have a good marriage, but Spousonomics did force me to answer some questions I hadn’t even thought of before. My husband had a talk about which household duties we hate, which ones we love. I had never even thought to ask him this before, and I was really glad that I did.Spousonomics also made me realize that my guilt about being a working mother with a stay-at-home husband is pointless. My husband does the full-time parent job better than I would. I should think about the cost-benefit analysis. In this model, we are both happier and more fulfilled. By using economics to eradicate my guilt made me feel better. And what could be better than a happily married couple?!?
jamesterck reviewed this
Rated 3/5
My opinion: Usually I don't read books on marriage help, thinking I've got everything all figured out. I admit now I was wrong; thanks to this book, I have learned a lot of tips and tricks to make my marriage better. The authors use common terms and concepts normally used in economics and apply it to marriage. Better yet, they throw in case studies of couples that used these approaches with great results. It helped to cement the fact that although some of these ideas seem small, they can have a big impact. Such as, when approacing the concept of chores, it's more efficient to assign tasks based on who does which chore better (quicker); this was the concept of specialization. It might not be the chore you enjoy the most, but the quicker these unpleasant tasks get done, the more time you have to spend with your spouse. Another concept I found very interesting was loss aversion. People hate losing and most arguments turn into who can win, and lose the bigger picture of why they're even fighting. They point out that it is best to "sleep on it". If it still bothers you in the morning, confront your spouse; if not, then let it go. I guess you could also call it "picking your battles" or "don't sweat the small stuff". A lot of sections of this book had me chuckling to myself and in a lot of the case studies I could relate to some of their struggles. The economics portions were quite boring to me, but it is obviously essential to the book, relating ideas in economics to marriage, and the authors did explain all of the concepts very thoroughly so that even someone with no economics knowledge (for example, ME!) could understand. All in all, this book was very informative, witty, and definitely brought up some good points. I will definitely be using some of these tips and tricks to better my marriage (guess I'll be doing the laundry from now on, even though I hate it...hey if it means more time with my hubby it's worth a shot!) My rating: 3/5 stars
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