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Extended Audio Sample Spousonomics: Using Economics to Master Love, Marriage, and Dirty Dishes, by Paula Szuchman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (686 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paula Szuchman, Jenny Anderson Narrator: Renée Raudman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Your marriage is fine, right? Sure, there are showdowns over who unloads more dishes, and some simmering discontent over who drives more car pools, cleans more dust bunnies, and keeps the social wheels of your existence greased. The sex is good, though you can’t remember when you last had it. Come to think of it, you’re plagued by a nagging sense that marriage used to be so much more fun. Marriage can be a mysterious, often irrational business. But the key, propose Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson in this incomparable and engaging book, is to think like an economist. We all have limited time, money, and energy, but we must allocate these resources efficiently. Spousonomics is a clear-eyed, rational route to demystifying your disagreements and improving your relationship. 

Smart, funny, deeply researched, and refreshingly realistic, Spousonomics cuts through the noise of emotions, egos, and tired relationship clichés to solve the age-old riddle of a happy, healthy marriage.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Praise for Spousonomics
  • Apply economic principles to marriage and you will be happier is the message —and the more you think about it, the more it makes perfect sense.... Thinking of your marriage not as a love affair that is slowly getting buried under layers of family responsibilities, but as a start-up business that is adding skills by the day, makes everything look completely different. Rosy, even. And pretty sexy. Try it. Shane Watson, The Sunday Times
  • Just in time for Valentine’s, two journalists, Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, have endeavored to show you the way. In their book Spousonomics—complete with a big heart with a pie chart in it on the cover—they promise to teach you how to use economics ‘to master love, marriage, and dirty dishes.’ The book starts with two basic premises. First, relationships exist in a world with scarce resources: time, money, humor, patience, breakfast cereal. Second, the field of economics has a lot to say about worlds with scarce resources. Szuchman and Anderson describe 10 big economic principles and many more small ones to recognize or apply at home in service of a better relationship. ‘By thinking like an economist, you can have a marriage that not only takes less work, but that feels like a vacation from work,’ the book promises. Annie Lowrey, Slate.com
  • Spousonomics pretty much nailed it. Authors Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, journalists from The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, respectively, propose treating your marital union the same way you’d treat any other business: As an operation that can only succeed if its limited resources are effectively allocated....What I love most about Spousonomics: The authors are funny, smart and relatable--and the advice isn’t just designed to make both parties happy, it’s also simple enough to work. Even if your marriage isn’t operating in the (emotional) red, consider this book a great investment. Jenna McCarthy, iVillage
  • It’s funny, smart and breaks down complex ideas about economics and relationships into easy-to-digest anecdotes about who does the dishes and how often married folks get laid. These are authors who are unafraid to drop an F-bomb and can also tackle big words like ‘intertemporal’ without breaking a sweat. The basic premise of Spousonomics is that we can apply economy theory to our marriages, and make them better in the process. They promise readers improved marriages with more sex, less strife and smoother handling of everything from bills to bedtime routines. Sounds impressive, right? It is. The authors interviewed dozens of married couples, as well as experts in economics and relationships. They know what they’re talking about. Sierra Black, Babble.com
  • Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson say if you only treated your marriage like the business partnership that it is, many of those issues just might solve themselves. It's behavioral finance for the bedroom and beyond. And it is both helpful and hilarious. Tess Vigeland, Marketplace
  • The book is grounded in solid research, makes economics entertaining, and might just save a marriage or two. James Pressley, Bloomberg
  • Spousonomics is one of the most delightful, clever, and helpful books about marriage I’ve ever seen. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed
  • Practical, compelling, and hilarious, Spousonomics highlights economics-based strategies for couples coping with the inevitable annoyances of a relationship. How can you coax him to do chores without nagging? Or change her mind about important decisions, quit yelling at the kids, or step away from the computer? The minute I finished this book, I started to experiment on my husband. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
  • Spousonomics is a brilliant and innovative book. And if you’re a rational consumer, you really have to buy it: A few bucks to improve your marriage? That’s just good decision making. A.J. Jacobs, bestselling author of The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically
  • This book – by suggesting that people are not rational, but irrational – turns our thinking about relationships on its head. A stimulating, must read for all of us who want to better understand and improve our love lives. John Gottman, bestselling author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
  • Spousonomics delivers: Two accomplished journalists master a fascinating body of research I'd been hoping to learn more about, then weave it into a narrative that's a pure pleasure to read. Bravo. Robert H. Frank, Professor of Economics at Cornell University, and author of The Economic Naturalist and The Winner-Take-All Society
  • Spousonomics lets you peer into other people's relationships, with valuable lessons for your own. A fun and breezy read for anyone who wants to be both smarter about economics and wiser about love. Steven Landsburg, author of The Armchair Economist and More Sex is Safer Sex
  • Spousonomics offers couples real life, common sense solutions for some of the knottiest conflicts regularly experienced in marriage. Written with great wit and understanding, it is both very helpful and a pleasure to read. I recommend it highly. John. W. Jacobs, M.D., author of All You Need Is Love And Other Lies About Marriage
  • Comparing marriage to a business doesn't sound very romantic. But in Spousonomics, journalists Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson make a convincing and creative case for how the dismal science can help reconcile marital disputes. Applying economic research to anecdotes from couples around the country, Szuchman and Anderson draw on concepts such as the division of labor and game theory to help readers determine who should mow the lawn or how to persuade a homebody spouse to join you at the movies. Just as technology has made it easier for countries to be flexible in the global economy, the authors propose, so has the redefining of gender roles allowed spouses to become more adaptable partners. Lisa Bonos, The Washington Post
  • “One of the most delightful, clever, and helpful books about marriage I’ve ever seen.”

    Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

  • “Practical, compelling, and hilarious…The minute I finished this book, I started to experiment on my husband.”

    Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestelling author of The Happiness Project

  • “A convincing and creative case for how the dismal science can help reconcile marital disputes.”

    Washington Post

  • “The book is grounded in solid research, makes economics entertaining, and might just save a marriage or two.”


  • “This clever and hilarious book is really a user’s manual for improving relationships in marriage, family, business, and society in general.”

    Miami Herald

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Megan | 2/19/2014

    " Cute. Not as good as I thought it would be, but still cute. Economic principles apply to divvying up chores, making time for one another, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Liz | 2/18/2014

    " This I liked. I enjoy applied economics (at least in terms appropriate for literate laypeople) and it was interesting to see game theory, "moral hazard" and loss aversion linked to marriage. The main findings from the book's presentation of econ research are not all that surprising (be transparent in communicating what you want, don't get complacent and remember you can never achieve your personal ideal standards for chores, etc., when another person is involved), but the presentation was novel, the case studies interesting and the authors' sense of humor enjoyable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Shaheen | 2/18/2014

    " Unfortunately, this book was just too similar to _Freakonomics_ and especially to _Predictably Irrational_, with examples from marriages instead of other arenas. But the economic examples from studies, etc. were all familiar from the previous books, and although many of the marriage anecdotes were interesting, I didn't always feel that they really illustrated the economic principle that they were meant to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rebecca Branch | 2/11/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book. Similar in thought and tone to Freakonomics, which I loved, but applied to a household, or family setting. Some really good insight on a different way to view and solve some marital and family issues using economics. While I probably will not use all ideas, I think there are definitely some worth while solutions to typical marital and family strife. "

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