The NPR Planet Money team is doing a special on love for their Valentine's Day podcast. They asked listeners to forward their questions for an economist, and I pushed a question regarding polyamory. Here's what I wrote:
I am polyamorous - a contrived word meaning "multiple loves"; I am married but also have two other close, loving partners who I share my life with. And in turn, my wife has partners of her own - one of her boyfriends lives with us. And all of them have other committed partners in their lives.
A core tenant of polyamory is the concept of abundance: love is abundant and can be shared with whomever you choose in an ethical and transparent way.
Monogamy, on the other hand, concentrates on scarcity: there is only one love you're destined for; sharing it is cheating and a taboo.
Economically, scarcity and abundance are interesting topics, but practically, there's a benefit in shared resources and time amongst 3,4,5,6 people rather than 2.
I'm curious to hear your economist's thoughts on the scarcity and abundance of love, and what economic benefits/detractors could arise from a society thinking abundantly about love.
This AM, I just had my phone interview with the Planet Money team. If they use the interview, it'll be aired on the planet money podcast sometime around Valentine's Day. The subject was about love, economic scarcity and abundance, and polyamory; specifically, the economist focused on an economic theory of time/children (relating it to quantity of partners) which I thought was very relevant.