Becker used market analysis to tackle the questions of whom, when and why we marry. His conclusions? Mate selection is a market, and marriages occur only if they are profitable for both parties involved.
Becker allowed nonmonetary elements, like romantic love and companionship, to be entered into courtship’s profit and loss statement. And children, in particular, were important. “Sexual gratification, cleaning, feeding and other services can be purchased, but not children: Both the man and the woman are required to produce their own children and perhaps to raise them,” he wrote.
“The third alternative, working in a regular job but not marrying, can be ruled out, since we assume that the only downside of marriage for a woman is the forgone opportunity for prostitution.”
Man, these economists are whacked!