That nice young man you know, who’s a great catch but never has a date? Apparently, no he’s not such a great catch after all. Philip Greenspun explains:

A friend trained in economics, let’s call her “Polly”, was over to the house for dinner last night. She asked if we knew anyone for a twentysomething friend of hers, let’s call him “Bunbury”, who worked a demanding software management job at a big software company. He was a “really nice guy” and she was perplexed that he couldn’t find someone. If someone at the table had said “there is a company traded on the NYSE that is really undervalued” she would have immediately hammered him with an explanation of the Efficient Market Hypothesis…. Applied to romance, the Efficient Market Hypothesis says that if the guy were actually worth dating one of the millions of women who live within a 30-mile radius of his house would have figured it out.

Fortunately for lonely people, economists live in a world of rational actors and ceteris paribus and all that. Me, I’m just glad nobody made this point to me back when I was single, else I (a believer in the Efficient Market Hypothesis) might have despaired before The Nymph came along.