Economics dating market dating love letter
Sometime after the legendary English poet Chaucer spurred its transformation from saint-honouring feast day to celebration of love, people took it upon themselves to bring gifts into the celebrations.In the 18th Century, this crystallised into the culture of offering flowers, confectionery and Valentine cards to the object of one’s desires – long before the advent of today’s marketing machines.Listen to this article Listen on i Tunes Human affection has an enormous effect on decision-making, but as something so driven by emotion and that manifests itself in often unquantifiable ways, love is difficult to pin down in a rigorous way.Still, there are two approaches that show up some interesting results.
It is, of course, a small part of the myriad of intangible ways in which affection changes people’s consumer behaviour, but the enormous spike in retail spending is impossible to ignore.
Incidentally, flower sales are a great example of just how much some industries rely on expressions of love.
Valentine’s Day accounts for 24% of all transactions in flowers purchased for holidays, with Mother’s Day transactions making up 25%.
Wallets take more of a hit than purses, which could be down to a variety of factors from the holiday’s bent towards ‘traditional’ relationships to the more expensive nature of the things women typically receive (such as jewellery).
It also suggests that men (American men, at least) may be slightly more sensitive to their economic circumstances when it comes to Valentine’s gifts: note the drop from the financial crisis to its aftermath in men’s average spending (about 17% between 2008-2010), compared to the same period for women (about 15%).
A more curious result comes from looking at the changing difference between men and women’s spending.