By Mehak Bahri
Economics was always my favourite subject back in school. I could pore over the S.K Aggarwal book for an entire night trying to understand the concepts of opportunity cost, or how the oligopoly market works. Don’t blame me, but if everyone can have a dark side, I can have nerdy side. So anyway, I took up my Undergrad studies in Economics hoping for the same kind of addiction to the subject. About that, I’m just glad I’m still alive after three years.
Why Economics is such an intriguing subject is that it relates to an everyday life scenario. Nothing in this entire universe can be analyzed without understanding the basic concepts of Economics.
And what’s even crazier is what kind of economic researches have been carried out in the past.
Understandably, Economics is linked to every aspect of existence, but researching a few areas that are mentioned are a complete riot.
1. The Lap Dancers Tipping Strategy
This was an Economic research done by Geoffrey Miller from the University of New Mexico on the relationship between tips earned by lap dancers and ovulating cycles. Crazy at it sounds, this research was recognized as a legit one and more people have contributed to this study.
It was discovered that when the dancers are in their estrus stage, or the stage when they are about to start menstruating, they are tipped the most. It is believed that the estrus period is the time when women are most likely to be attracted to the opposite gender. Well, it could be some kind of heat that women emancipate from themselves which frequent visitors of clubs have come to realize.
Guys, this doesn’t mean that any woman can fall for you if you’ve figured out her menstrual cycle. Keep your horses on hold.
2. What came first, the chicken or the egg?
I particularly love this one. These were the kind of riddles that us 90s kids thrived on. “Well, the Rooster did” is actually the best answer I had up until economists and scientists started researching about. Even though there is a scientific explanation for this now, Walter N. Thurman from the North Carolina State University researched about this phenomenon. His answer; the egg came first!
To go into just a little detail, a proto chicken existed before the actual chicken. That proto chicken had an egg, through which the real chicken hatched.
The theory of the chicken and the egg is still skewed. But hey, to each his own. You can decide through your own logic what came first. Honestly though, right now I can’t decide if a cheese omelet would be better or some chili chicken.
3. Cinderella’s stepmother was an Economist
There was a reason why I said that economics can be used anywhere, even in our beloved, decades old fairytales. When Cinderella’s stepmother got the invite for the ball held in the Palace to choose a bride for the prince, she only informed her two daughters, Anastasia and Drizella. Now don’t go blaming the mother for this kind of biased behavior. According to the early 1900 marriage statistics, it was a wise decision to invest in the minimum number of candidates so that they could stand out while competing for the Prince’s hand.
Now, I have another outlook on Cinderella. Her stepmother was well aware of the economic theories and the market statistics, while Cinderella didn’t know horse sh*t about economics. But despite that, she still got the Prince and the happily ever after. Is economics really that important now?
Another fun fact, this research was proposed and carried out by Harvard University’s professor Edward L. Glaeser.
4. Hot Waitress Economy Index
This is one of the ways that a recession or a slowdown in an economy can be predicted. As uncanny as it sounds, there is a very plausible research done on this matter and the conclusion actually stands true.
Now, when an economy is stable and functioning smoothly, educated women that are pretty are given preference over the ones that aren’t pretty for job positions. Don’t blame me for being judgmental, but this is what statistics have proved.
So, when an economy starts on a downfall and people start to get laid off, prettiness doesn’t stand a chance anywhere. Those out of job pretty girls start working at coffee shops and diners. These places still give a pretty face more preference.
So whenever you walk into a café and can’t figure out how you fell into this heaven of waitress beauty, remember that the economy is in a slowdown phase. Don’t waste a 100 bucks on coffee now.
5. Environmental Security Hypothesis
Trust me, only the name of this research is boring. Ironically, this is one of the most interesting studies that have taken place despite the big shot title that it got.
During a recession, Playboy and other such adult magazines change their model content. Instead of lean, skinny and bony women, they switch to heavier, older and taller women with more inches on the waist. Is it because heavier women are more affordable? No. Come on, do you really think Hugh Hefner REALLY needs to cut back on funds? The adult section industry is the last to be hit by economic slowdowns.
The real reason why curvaceous, heavy models lead the Playboy industry during a slowdown is that during that time men want women who are more productive. The men who are going through a tough phase actually want women who are fruitful. This kind of need is fulfilled by the stereotype of plump women who are believed to be more ‘wifely’ material, or more supportive.
As soon as the men are back on their feet, lean women are back with a BANG again.
Some of these researches may sound stereotypical or judgemental. But sometimes behavioural economics can be that way. Take these researches in good humour and understand the amount of dedication put on them. It’s definitely bizarre, but all of them prove a valid point.
After all, geniuses are called crazy too often.