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  • Tanvi Jain

The Economics of Love

Every February 14th, love seems to take centre stage, adorned with roses, chocolates, and

romantic dinners. But beneath the surface of sentimental gestures lies a fascinating dance

between emotions and economics. Let's dive into the "Economies of Love" this Valentine's Day, exploring how love intertwines with spending and societal trends.

Firstly, it's hard to ignore the financial frenzy surrounding the holiday. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spend an estimated $23.9 billion on Valentine's Day, making it a significant commercial event. From jewellery stores to restaurants, businesses capitalise on the desire to express love through material things. However, research suggests that money isn't everything when it comes to love.

A study by the Brookings Institution found that individuals with higher incomes are slightly more likely to experience love. But the key takeaway is that the association is weak. This implies that while financial security might help create opportunities for love, it's certainly not the ultimate guarantee.

Interestingly, there seems to be a paradox at play. Despite higher prices, consumer spending on Valentine's Day has remained relatively stable in recent years (as noted in Forbes). This could indicate that individuals prioritise celebrating love, even if it means adjusting their budgets. But it also raises questions about how much of this spending truly reflects genuine affection versus social pressure or commercial manipulation.

The feminist critique is crucial here. As Valentine's Day often reinforces traditional gender roles and expectations, it's important to examine its potential contribution to gender inequality. Do women feel pressured to conform to specific consumerist ideals of love? How can we celebrate love in ways that empower both individuals and challenge harmful stereotypes?

Ultimately, the Economics of Love on Valentine's Day offers a complex picture. While the

commercial aspects are undeniable, love itself exists beyond the price tag. By questioning societal expectations and recognizing the diverse expressions of love, we can approach this day with more authenticity and celebrate love in all its beautiful forms, not just the ones dictated by the market.



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