How Economists Would Fix Online Dating – By CHRISTOPHER MIMS Feb. 8, 2016 12:01 a.m. ET

A ‘thick’ market and cost-benefit analysis help avoid ‘romantic unemployment’

Stanford’s Alvin Roth, who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 2012, says dating sites can be more effective.

Stanford’s Alvin Roth, who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 2012, says dating sites can be more effective. Photo: Jean-Christophe Bott/Associated Press

There’s no human interaction the Internet can’t make even more alienating, and that goes double for finding a mate. But perhaps one way to make online dating less fraught is to treat it with the kind of clinical detachment that allows humans to becalm their misleading emotions and succeed at related enterprises, from stock trading to hiring the best employees. With Valentine’s Day near, it’s time to bring on the economists.

“Dating markets are a good example of matching markets,” says Alvin Roth, who won a Nobel Prize in economics in 2012 for studying such markets. “To work well, they have to overcome all the problems markets have to overcome.”

Mr. Roth has designed markets for matching patients to organ donors, doctors to hospitals, and students to schools. And while he has yet to design an online dating site, he has no shortage of opinions about how to make them more effective.

The first thing an online dating site has to do is create a market that is “thick,” says Mr. Roth. That’s economist-ese for a market that has a lot of people seeking to link up. But getting lots of people to sign up for a dating site is the easy part. Online at least, “there’s always a thick market for people who are looking for someone else,” says Paul Oyer, a colleague of Mr. Roth’s at Stanford University who wrote a widely cited book, “Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating.”

The popularity of dating apps leads to what economists call “congestion,” says Mr. Roth, which is how economists describe bottlenecks in a system of exchange. To take but one example, congestion is what happens when men spam every woman they match with on Tinder, something women on the app regularly complain about. This behavior is perfectly rational, says Mr. Roth, given the structure of Tinder, which lets you match with people endlessly. Solutions to this kind of message congestion can be found in the concept of “signaling,” which is the study of ways in which actors in any market can be forced to send expensive and therefore honest messages about themselves or their intent.

Article continues:

The Feds Have to Act to Get America Faster Wi-Fi – US REP. ANNA ESHOO AND AJIT PAI. 02.07.16. 7:00 AM

Super Bowl 50 will take place tomorrow in Santa Clara, California, the heart of Silicon Valley. So it should come as no surprise that fans attending the event expect a high-tech experience. Gone are the days when stadiums could wow crowds with just a Jumbotron and instant replay. Today, fans are far more interested in Levi’s Stadium’s Wi-Fi service—a service supported by more than 1,300 access points and 400 miles of network cabling. Whether it’s the chance to post photos to social media, order food from their seats, or stream the latest commercials, fans are increasingly demanding a fast, reliable, Wi-Fi connection.

But it could be faster. And better. The federal government just needs to pave the way for the next generation of Wi-Fi.

The demand for faster, more robust Wi-Fi isn’t limited to major sporting events. We’re seeing the same trend in our homes and other public spaces, too. The average household now has eleven Wi-Fi devices. And nearly two-thirds of all mobile users connect to Wi-Fi networks outside their homes every day.

More than ever before, consumers are using technologies that rely on “unlicensed spectrum”—that is, public airwaves that the government hasn’t licensed exclusively to a particular company or person—to access the Internet and connect their devices. Wi-Fi is one of the most well-known of those technologies, but it isn’t the only one. When you use a Bluetooth connection to play music over a wireless speaker, sync your fitness monitor to your smartphone, watch your sleeping infant on a baby monitor, or use a garage door opener, you’re using unlicensed spectrum.

Access to this spectrum has paved the way for these and many other innovative technologies—technologies that have made our lives better, safer, and richer.

Unlicensed spectrum produces tremendous economic benefits as well, contributing billions upon billions of dollars to our GDP. It is also a key platform for innovation, letting entrepreneurs experiment with disruptive new technologies. And Wi-Fi provides a critical onramp to the Internet for many low-income Americans, helping to bridge the digital divide.

Article continues:

Bill Clinton batters and blasts Bernie Sanders – By ANNIE KARNI 02/07/16 05:55 PM EST

Campaigning for Hillary, he labels Sanders “the champion of all things small and the enemy of all things big.”


Former President Bill Clinton talked about the New Hampshire he campaigned in years ago while criticizing Bernie Sanders’ policy proposals. | AP Photo


Campaigning for Hillary, he labels Sanders “the champion of all things small and the enemy of all things big.”

MILFORD, N.H. — Bill Clinton’s milquetoast stump speech touting his wife’s biography and her power as a “changemaker” has transformed into a brutal litany of attacks on Bernie Sanders and the devious campaign the Clintons apparently believe he is running.

Campaigning in Iowa ahead of the caucus last week, the former President seemed sent to merely soften his wife’s image — he shared gauzy memories dating back to law school about how everything she ever touched, she made better. But two days before the New Hampshire primary, where Sanders is leading by double digits in the polls, the Big Dog turned into an attack dog.

“When you’re making a revolution, you can’t be too careful with the facts,” he told the crowd of just under 300 who came to hear him speak Sunday afternoon while Hillary Clinton paid a visit to Flint, Michigan, to visit a church. “I want you to laugh, because when you’re mad you can’t think.”

Without mentioning Sanders by name, Clinton recited a laundry list of double standards and lack of details in policy proposals he has identified in Sanders’ campaign — and labeled “her opponent the champion of all things small and the enemy of all things big.”

Article continues:

A Year On, Did NFL Anti-Domestic Violence Efforts Work? – Karen Grigsby Bates Updated February 7, 2016 8:52 PM ET Published February 7, 2016 1:59 PM ET

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at Feb 8, 2016 12.37

This public service announcement for Super Bowl 50 comes from the anti-domestic violence group, No More.


Among the countless ads airing during Super Bowl 50, there will be an anti-domestic violence spot from the group No More. It’s the second consecutive year the organization’s public service announcements air during the big game.

Domestic violence and the NFL have been unhappily coupled more than a few times in recent years, perhaps no more prominently than in 2014. That’s when a troubling video from a hotel elevator’s security camera showed Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee Janay Palmer during an argument. They married soon after, but the Ravens cut Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. He’s since been reinstated but has not signed anywhere.

That video put domestic violence on the league’s and the nation’s front burner, if only for a moment. Kim Gandy is president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and worked with the NFL to help shape its revised policy. She’s not surprised that the nation’s attention has shifted. “You go all the way back to…OJ Simpson had domestic violence in the news for awhile and it shined a strong spotlight on the issue, but then it faded,” Gandy says.

Traders are placing huge bets on the future of oil – David Scutt February 8, 2016

Blackjack Hippodrome Casino Bet

A croupier works at a blackjack table at The Hippodrome Casino near Leicester Square on July 13, 2012 in London, England.

While markets are increasingly uncertain as to where the crude price will head, that hasn’t stopped investors from placing ever larger bets, which just hit the highest level on record.

According to data released by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) last Friday, the level of open interest in benchmark US WTI crude oil futures and options rose to 497,280 last week, the largest figure on record since the data was first collected back in 2006.

Essentially, despite uncertainty about which direction the crude price will head, speculative investors have never had so much money riding on its future performance.

“This is a reflection of a lot of conviction on both sides,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC told Bloomberg. “We’re seeing a battle royal between those who think a bottom has been put in and those who think we have lower to go.”

Analysis conducted by Bloomberg revealed short positioning in WTI rose by 17,299 contracts, or 9.7%, to 196,048 futures and options, just shy of the all-time high reached three weeks ago. Long positioning climbed by 12,051 to 301,232, the highest level seen since June last year.

The increase in open positioning follows a period of significant volatility in front-month WTI futures since the beginning of the year.

As the chart below reveals, there has only been two sessions – January 4 and 13 – where the front-month WTI future has not registered an increase or decline of more than 1% so far in 2016.

The average daily movement, regardless of direction, has been 4.07%, with the average daily trading range coming in at a staggering 7.02%.

Article continues: