Minus the City

There’s no short supply of economics majors on this campus. And in noticing the popularity of this major, I quickly found myself thinking of another popular activity on this campus: hooking up. The economics of hooking up on the surface are quite simple. You find yourself at a party, a bar or the infamous Old Stone Jug. There’s a certain supply of single people in the room and the demand for a hot hook-up for the night is quite high. As any simple supply and demand graph will show you, at a certain point the supply will equal the demand and an equilibrium is found. Essentially, a guy approaches a girl, dancing or flirting ensues and they inevitably hook up after a typically short time period. You have undoubtedly seen this plot unfold before.

However, it is only a matter of time before the economics become more complicated. The basic supply and demand curve extends only so far. After the initial encounter, the marginal costs and benefits must be weighed. Your average frat star may wonder if it’s worth his time to learn a name, save a phone number and text a girl again for another hook-up. The first hook-up is the critical time when one’s stock value is thoroughly assessed. Attractive, fun and conversational are all traits that would equate to a high stock value and thus high desirability. The best-case scenario is that you want to see said person again and he or she, in turn, want to see you too. It makes sense.

Some stocks easily prove to be good investments. A worthwhile, trusty hook-up you can count on to keep you warm in the depths of the snowy, blustery winter months in Hamilton is one such example. The risk usually arises when some stockbrokers choose to diversify their interests and create a portfolio. Profit surely increases when investing in more stocks than one. It would seem that if the one stock performs poorly or disappoints, you have plenty of other investments in your arsenal. A diversified portfolio lacks overlap and spans many organizations. This tactic of diversification guarantees a companion but risks failure on many occasions especially if the other participant is not a fan of your diversified and debatably promiscuous ways.

Let’s face it: some people at this school are simply hot commodities. Everyone wants them, while only a select few have the pleasure of getting them. There’s an inverse relationship between availability and desirability. As supply decreases, demand tends to increase. Make yourself scarce and you’ll be more desirable. There’s something to be said for the art of playing hard to get. Everyone wants what he or she can’t have. The games we play are a lot like the economic markets – unclear, infuriating and complicated. When it comes down to it, the simple fact is that everyone has a different demand they want to be met and the most you can hope for is finding the person who can supply it, whether it’s just for one night, a few nights or many. The statistics prove it. Hooking up at Colgate is a game of economic strategy and everyone is trying to crack the code.

Many choose not to stay with one solid investment but rather to mix things up, looking for the latest and greatest new investment to be made. Consistency can be found, but it’s rare and often hard to come by.

The most common pursuit centers on finding the rare gem worth investing in: the investment that won’t let you down who will be there as a great hook-up and maybe even soberly acknowledge your existence in the library. Economics is about more than just supply and demand and, after all, isn’t there more to a hook-up than simply meeting the demand to have a fun, drunken encounter?

If you’re not getting what you want from a hook-up and are constantly disappointed, then it would seem the marginal cost is greater than your marginal benefit and the situation is definitely not worth your while.

However, in the optimal situation, marginal benefit will outweigh the marginal cost. You’ll find yourself excited to see your new hook up and looking forward to your next encounter. If you find yourself being avoided during sober encounters and texted only after the hour of 3 a.m., then I think it’s safe to say the marginal cost is just too high to make the investment. The transactional nature of this culture allows for many opportunities.

Sexual economics are simple.  Guys and girls alike want to be sexually satisfied and the hook-up culture at Colgate provides the perfect opportunity for these mutually pleasing encounters to take place. Is the state of our hook-up economy in recession or surplus? It depends on who you talk to- those who have the right compass to navigate the culture succeed and escape unscathed and pleased with their hook-ups. The culture is flawed and complicated but every demand can be met. It’s just a matter of finding the right graph, then finding your equilibrium and making the most of it. In the land of many a drunken (and hopefully sober) hook-ups, everyone has the power to wait for the markets to change until they find exactly what they desire and are ready to invest. Get out there and play the markets.

Contact Lauren Casella at [email protected].