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Marina Adshade uses engaging research, human insight, and economic analysis to unlock the mysteries behind our actions, thoughts and preferences regarding sexual relationships, gender, love and power. She shows that every option, every decision and every outcome in the realm of sex and love is better understood through economics. The end result is a fascinating, and often humorous, look at just how central the interplay of romance and economic forces is to the most important choices we make in our lives.

Marina has spent the last twelve years teaching economics and engaging in original economic research. In 2008, she launched an undergraduate course titled Economics of Sex and Love, which invited her students to approach questions of sex and love through an economist’s lens. The class was an immediate hit with students and, by the time the first term started, had generated international media attention.

Today, Marina is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail, Time.com and the Huffington Post. Her work has received attention from around the globe; The Wall Street
Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg News, The Economist, The Independent, The Sunday Times, Men’s Health, Chatelaine, Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed, Fox
News, CBC Radio and Canada AM, to name but a few, have sought her expertise on how the relationship between love, libido and markets.

Dr. Adshade has a Ph.D. from Queen’s University and currently teaches economics at the Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia.

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Presentations

  • Modern Love is All Consuming

    “Love” is less about economics today than it has been for all of human history. In the past love ensured our survival by encouraging us to form productive unions. Today, the economic gains to forming these unions have diminished and yet we continue to seek them out simply because they allow us to feel love for, and the love of, another person. Which makes me wonder, if the purpose of love is no longer to ensure our economic wellbeing, then is modern love all consumption?

  • The Love Market

    Recently, it has become popular to apply a very basic understanding of supply and demand to the markets for sex and love. The simplicity of this story may seem compelling, but it’s actually a poor description how the actual market for sex and love operates; the real economic story is so much more elegant and enlightening. Properly interpreting these markets is key to understanding everything from the hook-up culture, to the way technology is revolutionizing our relationships, to the Marriage Revolution.

  • The Bedrooms of the Nation

    Back in 1967, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau famously said “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation”. Yet government policies continue to influence our sexual behaviour whether through the availability of contraceptives, laws that determine the structure of our marriage contracts, laws that govern the sex trades or laws that encourage the fair treatment of women in the workplace.

  • Sex on Campus

    While it may not seem obvious, the economic perspective that sex and love are exchanged on markets can go a long way in explaining the sex lives of university students in a way that is both enlightening and entertaining. For example, did you know that policies that set minimum drink prices might actually be contributing to risky sexual behaviour? Or that one of the reasons why there is so much casual sex on campus today is because of the increased earning power of college-educated women? Thinking like an economist can even answer many of the questions students are asking themselves; questions like, “If I can’t even get a date in college, am I ever going to get married?”

    Take Away
    Understanding how sex on university campuses is influenced by factors beyond their control not only helps student negotiate those markets, but also helps them understand why they, themselves, make the choices they do.

Modern Love is All Consuming

“Love” is less about economics today than it has been for all of human history. In the past love ensured our survival by encouraging us to form productive unions. Today, the economic gains to forming these unions have diminished and yet we continue to seek them out simply because they allow us to feel love for, and the love of, another person. Which makes me wonder, if the purpose of love is no longer to ensure our economic wellbeing, then is modern love all consumption?

The Love Market

Recently, it has become popular to apply a very basic understanding of supply and demand to the markets for sex and love. The simplicity of this story may seem compelling, but it’s actually a poor description how the actual market for sex and love operates; the real economic story is so much more elegant and enlightening. Properly interpreting these markets is key to understanding everything from the hook-up culture, to the way technology is revolutionizing our relationships, to the Marriage Revolution.

The Bedrooms of the Nation

Back in 1967, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau famously said “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation”. Yet government policies continue to influence our sexual behaviour whether through the availability of contraceptives, laws that determine the structure of our marriage contracts, laws that govern the sex trades or laws that encourage the fair treatment of women in the workplace.

Sex on Campus

While it may not seem obvious, the economic perspective that sex and love are exchanged on markets can go a long way in explaining the sex lives of university students in a way that is both enlightening and entertaining. For example, did you know that policies that set minimum drink prices might actually be contributing to risky sexual behaviour? Or that one of the reasons why there is so much casual sex on campus today is because of the increased earning power of college-educated women? Thinking like an economist can even answer many of the questions students are asking themselves; questions like, “If I can’t even get a date in college, am I ever going to get married?”

Take Away
Understanding how sex on university campuses is influenced by factors beyond their control not only helps student negotiate those markets, but also helps them understand why they, themselves, make the choices they do.

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