Category Archives: Sexonomics

Repost: An Economic Analysis of Divorce

I don’t have time this week, so this is a repost of an early post of mine that didn’t get much play. I did a little editing. It’s part of the Sexonomics series and is on divorce, so it fits what has been discussed here recently.

The Cost of the Risk of Material Loss in Divorce

Marriage is often discouraged in the Manopshere, and a single male, choosing whether I want to marry or stay an eternal bachelor is something important. Now, there’re a lot of reasons provided for why to avoid marriage, but the risk and consequences of divorce are easily the most convincing argument. So, I’m going to create a series on the economics of marriage.

This first post will be the economic cost of the risk of divorce for the average bachelor considering marriage.

At another time, I will attempt an economic analysis of the immaterial losses of divorce and the benefits of marriage. Then I will combine it all together in a cost benefit analysis.

What are the odds of divorce?

The “50% of marriages end in divorce” statistic is thrown out a lot, but this number includes those with multiple marriages and divorces, which skews the number higher than for people considering their first marriage, among other problems.

So, according to the US Census Bureau, for men, only about 60% of men reach their 25th anniversary for their first marriage (p. 11), which means about 40% of men did not.

Now, the data is by age cohort, and those married earlier had a greater chance of reaching any particular marriage anniversary milestone. For example, those married in 1975-79 had a 54.4% chance of reaching 25th anniversary, while those in the married in 1960-65 had a 66.9% of reaching this milestone. But, those married in 1975-79 had the worst chances of attaining any particular marriage milestone; they were peak divorce you might say. Since then, younger marriage cohorts have been more likely to reach milestones.

Meanwhile, in Canada, Statistics Canada has it that about 40% of first marriages will end in divorce.

So, we will estimate there is a 40% chance that a male entering their first marriage will divorce.

(Remember, the chances of marriage ending in divorce can vary depending on a wide range of variables, which I am not going to calculate at this time, but I might go into them in-depth in the future.)

How much does the divorce process cost?

The cost of the actual divorce process varies considerably, depending on a wide range of variables. A simple divorce will run about $1000, while a contested divorce can run from about $8,000-$133,000.

According to this, the median cost for mediation is $5,000, while the average contested divorce costs about $20,000.

So, we’ll say your divorce process will be about $20,000.

(Here’s a calculator if you’d like to play around).

What about Spousal/Child Support?

Your chances of paying spousal support depend on the amount of child support already paid and your income. There’s a ton of laws on this, so I’ll just use this calculator to calculate this.

The average Canadian household income is: $74,700
Two-earners without children: $79,700
Two-earners with children: $85,600
One-earner without children: $58,100
One-earner with children: $60,900

The average length of marriage is 14.5 years, with the average age of divorce for men being 44 and for women, 41.

So, putting the average divorce and income in the calculator we can get the average cost of support (both child and spousal) payments come divorce (in Ontario), assuming children live with spouse:

Two-earners without children (Equal): $0
Two-earner without children (Primary – 2/3): $327/month for 7-14 years (10.5)
Two-earners with children (Equal): $0 + $619/month child support
Two-earners with children (2 – Primary – 2/3): No spousal support, $758/month
One-earner without children: $1,186/month for 7-14 years (10.5)
One-earner with children: $838/month for 7-14 years (10.5) + $905/month child support (10.5)

For your own income and planned family situation input the number in the calculator.

So, the average male will have to pay about $149,436 in support if sole provider, $73,458 in support if primary provider, and $0 in support if equal provider. (The cost of child support is there for illustrative purposes, but that would be the cost of having a child, not marriage and divorce and is not calculated here.)

One interesting thing to notice: if you’re the sole breadwinner, your likely monthly payments can actually decrease as mandated child support payments replace spousal support payments. I would not bank too much on this, as it’s likely just a quirk in Canadian law or the calculator and may not apply broadly.

US law does not seem radically different overall from Canadian law.

What about a Settlement?

In Canada, “the spouse with the higher net family property is required by law to pay his” spouse “half of the difference between the two spouses’ net family properties.” Net family properties being current assets minus both liabilities and assets at marriage.

In the US, there are two systems, community property and equitable distribution, depending on the state with variations in how they are distributed. The former divides assets gained during the marriage equally, but leaves property attained before marriage alone. Equitable distribution distributes property equitably (not necessarily equally).

In general, we can say that the property you acquired during the marriage will be split more or less in half. If the wife was the primary housekeeper, while the husband was the primary breadwinner, then the difference will be the wife’s payments for continued support of the house. If they both shared provider status roughly equally, then an equal distribution of marital resources should occur.

There does not seem to be much economic cost to the average husband at the point of settlement in Canada, unless he sunk significant sums into the marital home prior to marriage and the wife did not match these sums after entering the marriage.

In the US, one could economically lose if the equitable distribution was not necessarily equal, or by quirks of local law, but for the average divorce, these would not present much of a cost. There might be extreme cases in both systems where quirks or abuses of the law could lead to unequal distribution either way, but

Other Cost Considerations

This is not to say that this will not increase economic hardship. Having to pay the expenses for two dwellings will, by itself, greatly increase economic hardship on both ex-spouses. For the ex-husband specifically though, the extra cost of two dwellings would be accounted for in the spousal/child support payments taken from his income.

It is possible a divorce could affect a male’s job performance, and thus his earnings, creating additional economic cost, but this would be outside my ability to remotely calculate.

The Total Material Cost of Divorce Risk for the Man Considering Marriage

Our formula:
Costs of Divorce Risk = Risk of Divorce * (Cost of divorce process + cost of support)

Average Male Single Earner
40%*(20,000 + 149,436 ) = $67774.40

Average Male Primary Provider
40%*(20,000 + 73,458) = $37383.2

Equal Male and Female Provision
40%*(20,000 ) = $8,000

For the average male who’s considering marriage and planning to be the sole breadwinner of the family, the material cost of the risk of divorce would be just over a full year’s worth of pay. For the average male who plans to be the primary but not sole breadwinner, it would be somewhat less than a full year’s pay. For the average male who plans a marriage where both partners earn equally, it would be a few months’ worth of pay.

So, if you plan on marrying and being the sole or primary breadwinner, you would have to ask yourself if you would pay roughly a year’s salary to be married.

* This analysis will be done for Canada. Canada’s divorce laws are generally nationally coherent, with federal laws and. The US’ divorce laws differ widely between states, so I can’t really calculate for the US. On the other hand, for the majority of men, the analysis shouldn’t vary too significantly; this should be roughly applicable to most and sufficient for analytical purposes. Check your own jurisdiction’s laws for personal information.

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Sexonomics: Odds of Divorce

I was accused of understating the risk of divorce, to which I gave an off-the-cuff calculation that by controlling a few factors in your spousal selection you could probably lower the statistical probability of divorce to less than 10%, but I said I’d look into it more, to give a more accurate response. So, here I’m going to find a bunch of statistics concerning factors of divorce, so you can learn how to lessen your odds of divorce.

Here’s the characteristics of a woman and the odds of her ending up divorced:

Age of first sexual experience (p.10):

>18: ~32-38%
17-18: 47%
15-16: 59%
13-14: 72%
<12: 82%

Number of prior sexual partners (p.18):

0: 20%
1: 46%
2-4: 56-60%
5-15: ~70%
16+: ~80%

Age of First Marriage:

<18: 48%
18-19: 40%
20-24: 29%
25+: 24%

Time of first birth (p. 16):

Before marriage: 67%
0-7 months after: 59%
8 months after: 32%

Education (IQ correlate) (p. 16):

Bachelor’s: 22%
Some College: 51%
High School: 59%
< High School: 61%

Race/Ethnicity (p. 16):

Asian: 31%
White: 46%
Hispanic: 47%
Black: 63%

Parents (p. 16):

Two parents: 42%
Non-intact family: 62%

Religion Raised (p. 16):

Catholic: 47%
Protestant: 50%
Other: 35%
None: 57%

Religion (GSS):

All Christians:41%

Active Evangelicals: 34%
Non-active Evangelicals: 54%

Active Mainline Protestants: 32%
Non-active Mainline Protestants:42%

Active Catholics: 23%
Non-active Catholics: 41%

All non-Christians:48%
No religious beliefs: 51%

All non-Christian religions:42%
Non-active other religions: 48%
Active other religions: 38%
Jewish: 39%

Cohabitation (p. 18):

Did not cohabitate: 43%
Cohabitated with husband before marriage: ~55%

Effects of Wife’s share of total income on divorce risk (p. 9):

0-20%: 1x
20-40%: 1.39x
40-60%: 1.62x
60-80%: 2.12x
80-100%: 2.19x

Income Quartile (p. 10):

Lowest: 1x
2nd: 0.87x
3rd: 0.86x
Highest: 0.92x

Looking at all this, it’s easy to see the two best determinates of her divorcing you are her education and whether she has had sex prior to marriage.

A bachelor’s degree is a 40-point decrease in the odds of divorce over a high school graduate.

A women having sex with one other partner is an instant 25-point increase in the odds of divorce, with another 10-point drop for a second partner, and another for a fifth. Related to this, her having sex before age 18 is another major risk factor. Marrying her before she’s 20 is also a risk factor, but not as great a one as her having had sex with someone else; if the choice is between a virgin under 20 and older non-virgin, the young virgin is less risky. Do not marry a slut.

Religion is important, but the most important part is less what religion, but rather how devout she is. An actively religious couple is generally a 20-point decrease in the chance of divorce than a non-active couple.

Marrying an Asian is a 15-point decrease in the odds of divorce. Marrying a black was the opposite.

If she had an intact family, that’s a 20-point decrease in the risk of divorce.

If you marry a virgin bride who’s over the age of 20, has an intact family, a college degree, and is a devout Christian, the chances of divorce are very low. If she’s also Asian, they’re even lower.

Also, make sure you earn a lot more than her, don’t be poor, don’t cohabitate before marriage, and don’t knock her up until marriage.

I can’t calculate the exact numbers by calculating all these odds together because a lot of these positive qualities overlap, but I consider myself justified in estimating, that the type of women I plan on marrying would have a statistical likelihood of divorcing me around 10%.

A 10% chance of divorce, even a 20% chance, while still higher than I’d like, is a risk I am willing to take.

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Note: most of these probabilities are for not being divorced at the 20-year mark, some for the 10-year mark. So, some of the numbers may be higher over a lifetime, but I would estimate not overly much; likely not more than 5 points or so.

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Here’s a divorce probability calculator to look at if you’re interested. According to the calculator, here’s the score on the test the kind of woman I want to marry, -56, and for myself, -76. Both had the same explanation:

Very Low Probability
Congratulations. You’re amongst a demographic of people that have the highest long term marriage success rate. What that means is that based on the factors that you indicated, and if there are no major changes in your lifestyle and that of your spouse, the chances that you will ever get divorced are far less than average. Does that mean you don’t need Divorce Insurance because you’ll NEVER, EVER get divorced? No, it simply means that based on the 20 factors we know have a significant impact on the outcome of marriage, you scored very well. However, people change over time and life has a way of creating unexpected turns in your path so insurance against the unexpected is always a wise choice if it’s in your budget. In any event, we wish you the best of luck!

That seems to be an acceptable risk.

Also, you can get divorce insurance? Might be something to look into for those considering marriage, but worried about divorce.


Financial Analysis of Sex: Relationship vs. Marriage

I previously did an economic comparison of obtaining casual sex through both prostitution and game. I said I would do the cost of sex in marriage and relationship game in the future, so, here it is (much later than I originally anticipated).

The following is a financial analysis of the costs of obtaining sex through a relationship or game. For simplicity’s sake, it ignores the greater economic costs beyond financial and benefits beyond the sexual (both material and immaterial). I will likely analyze these more in the future in their own posts.

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Relationship Game

If you convert game to a relationship, the cost per sexual encounter goes down.

The original 3 sexual encounters would be $460 each (as calculated in the game for casual sex post), but once the initial costs of picking-up a women have been met, converting a short-term fling from game to a relationship can change the costs of sex.

According to Roosh, each date costs about $35. We’ll assume you enjoy dating your partner for its own sake (hence why you’re in a relationship), so there’s no foregone cost. So, assuming each date leads to sex, each sexual encounter in the relationship past the first 3 would cost only $35 each. If you don’t enjoy dating your partner (for whatever reason), then you can add $20/date, if we assume 2 hours per date (at a foregone wage of $10).

We’ll assume a date/sex an average three times a week in a one-month relationship (for a total of 12 times, plus the 3 encounters he had in the fling), and two times a week in a 6-month (for a total of 48 times, plus 3) and 1-year relationship (for a total of 104, plus 3) (The same caveats would apply here as in Game for Sex).

Cost for Sex (1-month relationship): $120

Cost for Sex (6-month relationship): $60

Cost for Sex (1-year relationship): $47

This could, of course, be reduced by paying less for dates, or forgoing dates altogether in favour of less costly activities.

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Marriage

The average married man gets sex about once per week.

The average length of marriage prior to divorce is 8 years, but 60% of first marriages do not end in divorce. In the case of no divorce, we’ll assume the average marriage lasts 40 years (about 60-75 years old) until the male is either dead or are either incapable of or not desiring sex.

In that case, the average marriage lasts about 27 years.

Over that period, the average male can expect to get sex an average of about 1400 times. (1500 if he had sex in a 1-year relationship prior to marriage as per relationship game above).

The cost of dating and a one-year relationship prior to the marriage are almost $5000 (we’ll assume he enjoyed dating the person he chose to marry). The average cost of a wedding is about $27000.

We’ll also add in the 40% chance of $37,383 loss due to divorce (assuming the man will be the primary, but not sole breadwinner).

Cost for Sex (Marriage): $50 ($46 if you slept together before marriage)

This could of course be significantly reduced by not having a wedding that costs $27,000. It could also be reduced by minimizing chances of divorce. Only 1/5 of marriages have weddings that cost more than $30k, so it’s likely that really extravagant weddings are really pulling the average up, so it shouldn’t be impossible.

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This analysis assumes that your wife will be pulling her own weight in the marriage or relationship and is not being a freeloader. This can be by either earning her keep through paid employment, by raising your children (in which case the costs of supporting her would be added under the costs of raising a child), or providing companionship commiserate with your upkeep of her. If you are in a relationship or marriage with a women and supporting her solely for sex with no other gain for yourself, then the costs of sex would be much higher (but why on earth would you do this?).

This also ignores the many non-material and/or non-sexual benefits, costs, and risks for being in a relationship. This analysis assumes these are overall a wash in relation to material costs and the cost of sex.

I may try to economically analyze these factors more in-depth at another time.

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Conclusion

In the end, the final costs for sex are:

Prostitution: $300
Game: $460
($200 if you enjoy clubbing and game for their own sakes)
Relationship (1 month): $120
Relationship (6 months): $60
Relationship (1 year): $47

Marriage: $50 ($46 if you slept together before marriage)

Overall, a long-term relationship and marriage are, financially-speaking, the cheapest methods of acquiring sex. Prostitution is the most expensive, but game without relationship costs more if you dislike clubbing.


Economic Costs of Children

Here’s another installment of  my economic analysis of marriage. This time we’re calculating the cost of children.

Conveniently,the USDA has done a study, and it costs $235,000 to raise a child (in a family of two) through age 17 for a middle-income family, about the price of a 2012 Ferrari.

So the question is, over time, which do you think would bring you more utility, a Ferrari or Junior (or a medium sized house, or 4 years off work if you make $60k, etc.)?

That’s that.

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But that doesn’t really make much of a blog post, so more in-depth analysis of the study.

annual expenses ranged from $8,760 to $9,970 for families with a before-tax income less than $59,410, from $12,290 to $14,320 for families with a before-tax income between $59,410 and $102,870, and from $20,420 to $24,510 for families with a before-tax income more than $102,870. (p. 10)
….
As can be seen, total family expenses on a child through age 17 would be $212,370 for households in the lowest income group, $295,560 for those in the middle, and $490,830 for those in the highest income group. In 2011 dollar values, these figures would be $169,080, $234,900, and $389,670, respectively. (p. 20-21)

Here we can see that a lot of the cost of child rearing is likely optional. Low income people can do it for $170,000, so they could only get a 2008 Lexus instead.

If we look at page 26, there’s a complete breakdown of the numbers. Low income people made on average $38k, medium made $80k, and high made $180k. So, we can calculate that, low income people spent about 1/4 of their yearly income on a child, medium income spent about 1/6, and high income spent about 1/9. Because this number is based on having two children, it means you average poor 2-child family would spend half their income on a child, medium would spent a third, and high would spend about a quarter. So, as you get money, you spent a smaller proportion of it on children.

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housing accounted for the largest share across income groups, comprising 30 to 32 percent of total expenses on a child in a two-child, husband-wife family. For families in the middle-income group, child care/education (for those with the expense) and food were the next largest average expenditures on a child. (p. iv)

Food was the second largest expense on a child for families in the lowest income group, accounting for 18 percent of total expenditures. Food was the third largest expense on a child for families in the middle income group, accounting for 16 percent of total expenditures. Transportation made up 13 to 15 percent of total child-rearing expenses over the income groups. (p. 11)

Housing is the biggest expense. The study calculated housing by the cost of adding extra bedrooms to the price of a house. You could save money by buying cheaper real estate or jamming or making your kids share rooms or change the basement into the room (both strategies my family used at various times).

If we look at page 26, you can see that costs vary a lost, although, food, clothing, and healthcare vary less, while child care, miscellaneous, transportation, and housing vary by a much larger proportion. This suggests you can only save (or overspend) so much on eating, clothes, and health, but a lot of housing, transportation, and miscellaneous costs are optional. Child care varied the most, so this could either be optional, or simply be that higher income people used proportionately more of it to gain those higher incomes.

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Overall annual child-rearing expenses were highest for husband-wife families in the urban Northeast, followed by families in the urban West and urban Midwest; families in the urban South and rural areas had the lowest child-rearing expenses. (p. iv)

So, choose where you live when you want a family to save on housing costs. If you live in a lower cost area, it costs less. Pretty self-explanatory. Steve Sailer wrote an interesting article on this kind of thing before, give it a check.

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For all three income groups, food, transportation, clothing, and health care expenses on a child generally increased as the child grew older. As children age, they have greater nutritional needs so consume more food. Transportation expenses were highest for a child age 15 to 17, when he or she would start driving. Child care and education expenses were generally highest for a child under age 6. (p. 12)

Interesting, I though babies would be more expensive. Kids eat more as they age and young children use more child care. Makes sense. Learning to drive increases transportation expenses, probably due to buying your kid a car, so tell your kid to get a job and buy his own car.

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Compared with expenditures for each child in a husband-wife, two-child family, husband-wife households with one child spend an average of 25 percent more on the single child, and those with three or more children spend an average of 22 percent less on each child. (p. 17).

So, as Bryan Caplan pointed out, children get cheaper the more  you have of them. For the middle income family, a single child would cost $294k, 2 children would cost $470k ($235k each), and 3 would cost $550k ($183k each). For a lower income family, one would cost $211k, 2 would cost you $338k,  and 3 would cost $395k.

For a middle income family: the first child costs you $294k, the second costs you $176k (60% of the cost of the first), while the third costs you only $80k (27% of the first).

For a lower income family: the first child costs you $211k, the second costs you $127k (60% of the cost of the first), while the third costs you only $57k (27% of the first).

So if you decide to have children, have three or more. Your third child has a 73% discount on the cost of the first, a steal. You can also save a lot by adopting a lower income lifestyle.

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Conclusion:

Kids cost a lot, about as much as a Ferrari, but which would add more value to your life?

A lot of child rearing expenses are optional as evinced by the fact low income families can raise kids on less costs than other families. Housing is the biggest expense and a lot of the costs are optional. Children can be a lot cheaper if you buy less house, squeeze the kids in, and buy in a cheaper area.

Your first kid costs a lot of money, your second costs a fair amount, but your third kid and beyond cost very little, so, if you do have children have a lot. The marginal costs of the additional children after the second are very low.


Economic Analysis of Casual Sex – Prostitution vs Game

I previously mentioned I would I would do an economic comparison of obtaining sex through both prostitution and game for casual sex.

Essentially, which of the two mating strategies obtain the best bang for your buck. (Pun most assuredly intended).

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Prostitution

Starting with prostitution (it’s the easiest):

I’m going to assume a mid-range escort. We’ll ignore low-quality street prostitution, which would be cheaper, but risky and the high-quality escorts, as most people can’t afford that regularly. Our assumption will be a clean, fairly attractive prostitute.

According to this intro to escorting guide on a business blog for escorts (I guess escorts need business advice too; the weird things you find on the internet) costs about $250-500/hr depending on the city.

So, we’ll say $300 for sex from prostitution. Adjust upwards if you live in a high cost area or if you’re looking for higher quality.

Given the transactional nature of the interaction, there are no time opportunity costs.

Depending on your jurisdiction, prostitution, or aspects related to prostitution, is likely illegal, so there would be a cost attached to the . Every year, about 8,000 johns are arrested and about 45 million Americans (15%) use prostitutes, so the odds of getting caught are extremely low (about 1 in 5000), especially if you are using escorts rather than streetwalkers. The average fine for a first-time offender is about $250, so the economic costs of the risk of getting cost are negligible (about a  nickel).

Cost for Sex: $300

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Game

I’ve been reading Bang and am almost done (review to come). Near the end of the book Roosh has a little bit on the costs and successes of an average player (someone who goes out to clubs on Saturdays and Sundays with competent game). I’ll assume Roosh knows what he’s talking about (he did write the book on the subject), so we’ll use his numbers.

He does the math in the book, but essentially you are spending $300/month on going to the club, going out on dates, etc. ($3600/year)  for 3-8 notches per year (p. 135 if you want to see). We’ll assume each “notch” leads to an average of three sexual encounters, as some might be one night stands, but a couple might become short- or longer-term relationships.  We’ll give our player 6 notches a year, so 18 sexual encounters at a cost of $200 each.

In addition, each sexual encounter requires time, the nights out, the dates, etc. is time spent in the club, on a date, etc. running game rather than another activity.If you spend an average of four hours clubbing each of Friday and Saturday for a month, that’s 400 hours a year (assuming 2 weeks off).

In addition, from Bang, it seems you can generally expect sex on about the third date and you can expect sex from about half the women you date. So if we assume 2 hours per date for each notch and dating ending in a failure to obtain a notch, we get 72 hours (6 notches *3 dates *2 hours *2 for failures) spent a year on dating.

So, at 472 hours a year at a modest wage of $10/hour, comes to an opportunity costs of spent time is $4720, or $262/sexual encounter.

You would add this to the costs, assuming that you do not enjoy clubbing, game, or dating for their own sakes but are solely in them for the sex. I personally hate clubs, as do many others, and from reading 30 Bangs it was my impression like Roosh only barely tolerates the game so he can acquire sex, so me, Badger, and Roosh would have to add this.

If you enjoy clubbing, gaming, and dating for their own sakes and would engage in these activities even if there was zero chance for sex, you would not have to add these to the calculations, but I’m assuming most wouldn’t, so…

We can conclude that the cost of getting sex through game for the average player is about $460. You could reduce this by becoming better than average, finding a niche like Roosh suggests, running day game, or otherwise reducing your opportunity or real costs.

Cost for sex: $460 ($200 is you enjoy clubbing, gaming, and dating for their own sake)

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For casual sex, a mid-range prostitute is cheaper than game.

On the other hand, most of game’s costs are in the form of time opportunity costs, so if you have a lot of free time and little money or you enjoy the activities of clubbing, game, or dating  even without the promise of sex, then game might be a better deal.

In addition, the higher your average wage, the more expensive game becomes relative to prostitution, as the opportunity costs of game increase the more potential earning you sacrifice.

Conclusion: For obtaining casual sex, game is the better option if you are paid low wages and have free time or if you enjoy game and related activities. Prostitution is the better option if you are middle-class, don’t have the free time, or dislike engaging in game.

In the future, I’ll have a post on the economic costs of sex in marriage and relationship game.


An Economic Analysis of Marriage – Part 1

The Cost of the Risk of Material Loss in Divorce

Marriage is often discouraged in the Manopshere, and a single male, choosing whether I want to marry or stay an eternal bachelor is something important. Now, there’re a lot of reasons provided for why to avoid marriage, but the risk and consequences of divorce are easily the most convincing argument. So, I’m going to create a series on the economics of marriage.

This first post will be the economic cost of the risk of divorce for the average bachelor considering marriage.

At another time, I will attempt an economic analysis of the immaterial losses of divorce and the benefits of marriage. Then I will combine it all together in a cost benefit analysis.

What are the odds of divorce?

The “50% of marriages end in divorce” statistic is thrown out a lot, but this number includes those with multiple marriages and divorces, which skews the number higher than for people considering their first marriage, among other problems.

So, according to the US Census Bureau, for men, only about 60% of men reach their 25th anniversary for their first marriage (p. 11), which means about 40% of men did not.

Now, the data is by age cohort, and those married earlier had a greater chance of reaching any particular marriage anniversary milestone. For example, those married in 1975-79 had a 54.4% chance of reaching 25th anniversary, while those in the married in 1960-65 had a 66.9% of reaching this milestone. But, those married in 1975-79 had the worst chances of attaining any particular marriage milestone; they were peak divorce you might say. Since then, younger marriage cohorts have been more likely to reach milestones.

Meanwhile, in Canada, Statistics Canada has it that about 40% of first marriages will end in divorce.

So, we will estimate there is a 40% chance that a male entering their first marriage will divorce.

(Remember, the chances of marriage ending in divorce can vary depending on a wide range of variables, which I am not going to calculate at this time, but I might go into them in-depth in the future.)

How much does the divorce process cost?

The cost of the actual divorce process varies considerably, depending on a wide range of variables. A simple divorce will run about $1000, while a contested divorce can run from about $8,000-$133,000.

According to this, the median cost for mediation is $5,000, while the average contested divorce costs about $20,000.

So, we’ll say your divorce process will be about $20,000.

(Here’s a calculator if you’d like to play around).

What about Spousal/Child Support?

Your chances of paying spousal support depend on the amount of child support already paid and your income. There’s a ton of laws on this, so I’ll just use this calculator to calculate this.

The average Canadian household income is: $74,700
Two-earners without children: $79,700
Two-earners with children: $85,600
One-earner without children: $58,100
One-earner with children: $60,900

The average length of marriage is 14.5 years, with the average age of divorce for men being 44 and for women, 41.

So, putting the average divorce and income in the calculator we can get the average cost of support (both child and spousal) payments come divorce (in Ontario):

For your own income and planned family situation input the number in the calculator.

So, the average male will have to pay about $149,436 in support if sole provider, $73,458 in support if primary provider, and $0 in support if equal provider. (The cost of child support is there for illustrative purposes, but that would be the cost of having a child, not marriage and divorce.)

One interesting thing to notice: if you’re the sole breadwinner, your likely monthly payments can actually decrease as mandated child support payments replace spousal support payments. I would not bank too much on this, as it’s likely just a quirk in Canadian law or the calculator and may not apply broadly.

US law does not seem radically different overall from Canadian law.

What about a Settlement?

In Canada, “the spouse with the higher net family property is required by law to pay his” spouse “half of the difference between the two spouses’ net family properties.” Net family properties being current assets minus both liabilities and assets at marriage.

In the US, there are two systems, community property and equitable distribution, depending on the state with variations in how they are distributed. The former divides assets gained during the marriage equally, but leaves property attained before marriage alone. Equitable distribution distributes property equitably (not necessarily equally).

In general, we can say that the property you acquired during the marriage will be split more or less in half. If the wife was the primary housekeeper, while the husband was the primary breadwinner, then the difference will be the wife’s payments for continued support of the house. If they both shared provider status roughly equally, then an equal distribution of marital resources should occur.

There does not seem to be much economic cost to the average husband at the point of settlement in Canada, unless he sunk significant sums into the marital home prior to marriage and the wife did not match these sums after entering the marriage.

In the US, one could economically lose if the equitable distribution was not necessarily equal, or by quirks of local law, but for the average divorce, these would not present much of a cost. There might be extreme cases in both systems where quirks or abuses of the law could lead to unequal distribution either way, but

Other Cost Considerations

This is not to say that this will not increase economic hardship. Having to pay the expenses for two dwellings will, by itself, greatly increase economic hardship on both ex-spouses. For the ex-husband specifically though, the extra cost of two dwellings would be accounted for in the spousal/child support payments taken from his income.

It is possible a divorce could affect a male’s job performance, and thus his earnings, creating additional economic cost, but this would be outside my ability to remotely calculate.

The Total Material Cost of Divorce Risk for the Man Considering Marriage

Our formula:
Costs of Divorce Risk = Risk of Divorce * (Cost of divorce process + cost of support)

Average Male Single Earner
40%*(20,000 + 149,436 ) = $67774.40

Average Male Primary Provider
40%*(20,000 + 73,458) = $37383.2

Equal Male and Female Provision
40%*(20,000 ) = $8,000

For the average male who’s considering marriage and planning to be the sole breadwinner of the family, the material cost of the risk of divorce would be just over a full year’s worth of pay. For the average male who plans to be the primary but not sole breadwinner, it would be somewhat less than a full year’s pay. For the average male who plans a marriage where both partners earn equally, it would be a few months’ worth of pay.

So, if you plan on marrying and being the sole or primary breadwinner, you would have to ask yourself if you would pay roughly a year’s salary to be married.

* This analysis will be done for Canada. Canada’s divorce laws are generally nationally coherent, with federal laws and. The US’ divorce laws differ widely between states, so I can’t really calculate for the US. On the other hand, for the majority of men, the analysis shouldn’t vary too significantly.