Finally, the analysis can also be seen as an interesting contribution to the current debate on the ‘marketization’ or ‘economization’ of interpersonal relationships – a public as well as scientific debate that addresses the relations between love and the market, intimacy and strategic action, emotions and economic rationality in our society on a more general level.

In classic microeconomics, this is usually underpinned by one or more market failures, or equity arguments.

If public policymakers decide that there is a need for Government intervention, what next? Do they go in, all guns blazing, and try to eradicate whatever the problem is?

In addressing these topics, the project aims at making an innovative contribution to the international discussion about new forms of dating on the internet and the change of the social patterns of couple formation in general.

One reason for the research deficit described above is the fact that most present research relies on either the statistical analysis of online interactions or on standardized opinion surveys addressing general attitudes towards online dating.

In this kind of research, rational choice theory and the classic concepts from the economics of the marriage market are especially prominent.

But, however, it is widely unclear how these different competing logics – the ideal of romantic love on the one hand, the principals of efficiency and economic rationality on the other – are actually interwoven in the practice of online dating and how people deal with the contradictions and ambivalences that may appear as a result.

Here, the internet appears as a convenient place for romantic interactions, even as a kind of ‘neoromantic media’ that reanimates certain classic virtues from the cultural ideal of love that might have been lost in the world outside the net.

A second body of work analyzes online dating primarily as a new tool to enhance the efficiency and rationality in the process of couple formation.

Conquering the dating market—from an economist’s point of view After more than twenty years, economist Paul Oyer found himself back on the dating scene—but what a difference a few years made.