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The Romantic Economist

A Story of Love and Market Forces

A wise and humorous memoir about a young economist trying to apply the rules of the market to his own floundering love life.

A wise and humorous memoir about a young economist trying to apply the rules of the market to his own floundering dating life.

“I know that this sounds like a bit of a cliché, but really, it’s not you…” The woman who said this to William Nicolson was funny, talented and unbearably beautiful. His mother said he ought to marry that girl. And he lost her in a personal best time of six weeks.

It was when he found himself being dumped like this yet again that he decided something had to be done. William is an economist, which means he’s good at reducing an infinitely complex world into a set of clear, rational principles about the way people and markets behave. Unfortunately, he has never been able to replicate this in the world of romance. Girls confuse him; they’re the very definition of infinite complexity.

In this book, he sets out to apply the rules of economics to his shaky love life. For a time, everything seems to be clearer. Want to play hard to get? Reduce your supply. Want a girlfriend? Find an undervalued asset. Why are all the good ones taken? That’ll be the Efficient Market Hypothesis. But things don’t work out quite as he’d hoped, and he’s more isolated than ever. Can he find the perfect economic theory to rescue him from a future of lonely nights, or is the dating game too intricate to be won by logical, rational thinking?

William Nicolson is currently working as a trainee solicitor at a London law firm. He studied economics and politics at Edinburgh University, and his love life, he’s pleased to report, has never been better.

“Hilariously funny… a brilliant insight into the mind of the boyman.”

– Bookbag

“Charming and informative… functions as a sociological account of being young in the Noughties, offering reflections on Facebook, the 'lunch date', gender inequality, and the phrase 'fair game'.”

– Mail on Sunday

“A fun and jaunty read… The book triumphs with its fresh, funny and (financially) sound perspectives on romance.”

– The Business Times, Singapore

“A neat idea and Nicolson is a likable, self-deprecating narrator… As a memoir it is rather sweet.”

– The Observer