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The classic example is overfishing: each individual fisherman is tempted to harvest the ocean just a little bit more, and improve his current catch, but if all the fishermen do so then the piscine population plummets and everyone suffers in the long run.

In the case of online dating, the “shared resource” is women users’ attention: if every man “overfishes” then the women’s attention (and patience) runs out, and the women abandon the app altogether.

"It all depends on what you are bringing to the table.

Some of those qualities might be age or attractiveness - and some are financial."Indeed, just go on popular dating sites such as Match.com, and one of the criteria for winnowing down potential matches is annual income.

"And in the intervening 20 years between when I first dated and now, I'd learned a lot about markets." His book, "Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned From Online Dating" (Harvard Business Review Press; January 2014), breaks down online dating into basic economic principles. Some people say Twitter blew their IPO by underpricing the stock. Demand is driven not by the product but by other users.

Online dating software has been built by statisticians, engineers, and nerds - and maybe nerds are the ones who need to start breaking it down. But it's possible that they purposefully wanted to signal to the market - we're going to treat our investors well, and we're willing to signal that by leaving some money on the table. Q: When do you stop searching and just pick someone?

We lived in Princeton at the same time, but we’d never met each other. As I honestly needed to, I put on my profile that I was separated, because my divorce wasn’t final yet.

The question becomes one about the potential to earn the income needed to build wealth and live a lifestyle you want."Just think about the numerous economic judgments we are making while dating online.Rational people sometimes choose to lie - don't list all the viral videos you like. His knowledge of IPOs could teach him about where to take his date for dinner (answer: somewhere expensive)."After my first date, the thing that triggered in my mind is that this is all about markets," he said.The theories he'd been teaching in the classroom applied directly to his forays into and JDate.Thick markets are more powerful than thin ones - use a big dating site.Dawoon Kang, co-founder of Coffee Meets Bagel, says “the reason women haven’t been fully excited about using dating services is because there wasn’t one that understood how women want to date.” Sarah Mick, Chief Creative Officer at Bumble, says her app wants to end “digital cat-calling,” and to subtly give women more power in their dating interactions.

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