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Markets and incentives

Published by Priyanka on

Sometimes, during our travels, my husband and I love to explore non-touristy neighbourhoods in a city. So, recently, when we were in Budapest, we went into the central market. I was very happy to find vegetables that I never find in Barcelona and was contemplating smuggling a few of them back on my flight home, but eventually didn’t. 

While I was there, I noticed something interesting. The shops at the entrance of the market had lousy veggies while the ones bang in the middle had way better stock (fresher and more diverse), but surprisingly, these were also marginally cheaper. After some thought I realised that the market was incentivising people for making the extra effort of going deeper into the market by offering them a discount. 

Strangely, this wasn’t very different from the marriage market. 

I came across this video. I couldn’t make up my mind about what was worse – a job interview or an arranged marriage interview. Nevertheless, being in the market sucks, especially if you’ve always hated shopping and always secretly prayed that you’d fall in love with the first thing you laid your eyes on in a store.

But, why aren’t markets designed to get you out at the earliest? They keep wanting you to stay on while your chances of succeeding only get slimmer. There are thousands, if not millions of people on matrimonial sites, who’ve been on it for years with very little success. This is not because these people are ugly or dumb, it’s simply because this market isn’t designed to get people out quickly.

They lack efficiency, they deliver poor customer service and they want you to stay on them forever. If you only persisted and made some effort to weed through the noise, you’re likely to find love – be it on a matrimonial app or organically. This depends on what and how much effort you are willing to put in. There’s no gain without pain. 

But if you’re optimising for the ease of finding love, then you’ll just have to settle for what you get.