Monday, June 18, 2018

Alex Teytelboym on Love Island

Alex T. writes to let me know that he has been explaining British reality TV: a show where beautiful people couple up and couple on camera, apparently.

 The economics of Love Island: how game theory explains 'coupling up'

His concluding paragraphs:

"So how does economic theory help contestants win Love Island? It’s very tempting to dump your partner and couple up with someone else, especially when there are eight weeks to go. But leaving your partner for someone else once tells others you are bad egg who cannot be trusted. As the series nears its end, the rewards from commitment are very high – not just within the Love Island house, but
also with the viewers.

"The public love couples who fight but appear committed. A “folk theorem” in game theory tells us that when people are sufficiently patient they can remain committed even when incentives to cheat are high. Sometimes second best is the best you can get, so you shouldn’t be greedy. Ultimately, while being liked by the public clearly helps, Love Islanders would do well to heed game theorists’

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