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Spousonomics: Or how to maximise returns on the biggest investment of your life [Paperback]

Paula Szuchman , Jenny Anderson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Feb 2011

Do you and your partner bicker over trivial things, and do you find yourself thinking about how much more fun life together used to be? If the answer is 'yes' to either or both questions, it's little wonder! Relationships are complicated, and they don't come with a user's manual. Until now. Enter Spousonomics- a fun, original relationship guide which offers a brilliant, fresh twist to standard advice by showing how economics - that's right, economics - is the key to a happiness. For example...

·Comparative advantage - or why you should do the dishes. Splitting chores 50/50 is the surest path to inefficiency. Stick to what you're good at, and 'trade' relations will improve dramatically. ·The Laws of Supply and Demand - or how to kick-start your sex life.If having sex carries too many costs - too much time or energy - you won't do it enough. Lower your costs to get the bed springs bouncing again!·Moral hazard - or why your marriage is not too big to fail. If you're too forgiving there's a good chance your partner will feel that he or she can operate without consequences. Beware! ·Game Theory - or redefining the notion of 'winning'. Resolving conflict requires cooperation and strategic thinking - so start anticipating your partner's moves to get ahead of the game.

Brilliantly researched and cutting through the noise of emotion and tired clichés, Spousonomics offers sound, practical advice that will help you to get your relationship back on track - and maximize returns on the biggest investment of your life.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (3 Feb 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593064283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593064283
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 25.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 222,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The latest hero in the self-help market..." (Grazia)

"Delightful, clever and helpful." (Elizabeth Gilbert author of Eat, Pray, Love)

"Thinking of your marriage not as a love affair that is slowly getting buried under layers of family responsibilities, but as a start-up business that is adding skills by the day, makes everything look completely different. Rosy, even. And pretty sexy. Try it." (Sunday Times)

"Introducing Spousonomics: marrying sex with economics...Talk about it less, and do it more. By all means take a break, but don't give up. These are not the only nuggets of empirically-based relationship advice to be found in Spousonomics, a new book on the economics of marriage..." (Times)

"The Smart Girl's Guide to Good Spouskeeping - golden rules for a happy relationship...Economics is about allocating time, money and energy efficiently - and you can use the same principles to get more out of your marriage...Here's how to use spousonomics to make your happiness shares soar." (YOU Magazine)

Book Description

A totally original relationship guide on how to maximize returns on the greatest investment of your life!

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book review;Spousonomics 4 May 2011
Excellant + intresting combination of economics + marriage guidance.I especially liked the concept of a marital bubble that can burst just like an financial one.A robust discussion of the neccesity of understanding comparative advantage + not just dividing up all the jobs 50-50.It illustrates too how much hard work is involved in a long term relationship especially one with children.A little too many individual stories thou.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, funny and smart 13 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Essentially a book that looks at unions as an economical situation to be worked on and I can honestly say that applying economics to my relationship has helped in many ways.

It only REALLY works however if you get your partner to read it too :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and informative 15 Aug 2012
I liked the fact that this book was so easy to read that I was learning without feeling like I was being lectured about economics. The case studies brought the concepts to life and turned some commonly-held beliefs on their head such as the idea of splitting all chores 50/50 regardless of each partners preferences and aptitudes. A great read that's useful too.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a marriage book I understand 3 April 2011
By Steve Burns - Published on Amazon.com
I really enjoy the study of economics and believe in the principles of free markets and supply and demand. I was very excited to see a book that combined what I fully understand: "economics" with what I have difficulty understanding: "my wife". I was not disappointed, I loved reading this book and think I will be much better as a husband after reading it.

Like in real economies you must divide your labor to maximize the return of time. Do what you are both best at, to save time and frustration. Trying to divide everything up and be completely even, fails in marriage as it does in Communism.

Do not fall into the trap of loss aversion. If you are wrong in an argument do not continue to pursue it at the cost of your marriage just for the sake of not wanting to be wrong.

Give your spouse incentives for doing what you want. If they know if they do 'A' then they will receive 'B' in return, you may be surprised at how much gets done. A lot of marriages do this now just do not realize it. All work deserves a paycheck.

Be careful to manage your marriage at all times. Do not believe your marriage is to big to fail. Know that there are other competitors out there wanting to take your share of your spouse. You must create a transparent market where you each know what the other truly wants in the areas of finance, sex, vacations, family, and career. Because of poor communication spouses have suffered through years of misunderstanding that caused both to not get important needs met. Even worse, going to a new supplier to get those needs met.

Watch out for bubbles that are created during your engagement, honeymoon, or after a huge accomplishment. Irrational exuberance eventual ends, be prepared for the reality that you will both settle into when the bubble pops. You will likely go from lavish honeymoons to dirty diapers at some point.

"Spousonomics: the art of using economics to minimize conflict and maximize returns on life's biggest investment-your marriage.

I did not even scratch the surface of the great information in this book. By far the best relationship book I have ever read. I highly recommend.
3.0 out of 5 stars Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson: Spousonomics 15 Sep 2011
By cairo360 - Published on Amazon.com
During a heated argument with your spouse, do general marketing concepts come to mind as a way of reaching a compromise? No? Spousonomics is a witty book that suggests that using economic principles is exactly what we need to resolve our relationship conflicts. By following business-oriented steps, each side would be able to see things from a fresh perspective; thus redefining 'winning' the argument.

After authors Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson were struck with the idea that economics could be used for something other than academia and work, they got down to nation-wide surveys and research, and spent their time delving through economic books to break down concepts like trade-offs, division of labour, and loss aversion, and build them up again to apply to real-life marriage problems.

Each one of the ten chapters tackles one concept, providing a case study of a married couple who had faced a problem and what they did or should have done to solve it. The book is written in a way that is both thought-provoking and funny, though it mainly discusses economic topics. It's interesting that these economic theories are actually enjoyable to read when applied to real life with relevant explanations.

While comparing marriage to business doesn't sound very romantic, it helps putting problems into a practical perspective. By balancing the costs and benefits of each argument, a couple is more likely to reach a solution that will satisfy both sides and thus make it easier to achieve peace of mind and a happy home. However, it is admittedly hard work, and the book doesn't omit the fact that it takes training to get used to solving problems that way.

Thankfully, Spousonomics focuses more on life examples with explicit humour than economic jargon. Better yet, it's a change from most relationship books that only drag out the typical advice of keeping a journal. Usually perceived as one of the causes of marital problems, this book proves that economics can be part of the solution as well.

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