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Why does a woman have 50 pairs of shoes compared to a man’s 5 pairs of shoes? By Batbileg Terbishdagva
The dilemma • The theory is that demand for pairs of women shoes is high relative to the demand of men’s shoes because women have to look fashionable in the business world • Their appearance is much more recognizable then men’s. Women have to own many different dresses and matching shoes for every dress to be considered fashionable
The Dilemma • Thus, many women tend to have a lot of different pairs of shoes, which are quite pricey and worn infrequently, while men have only 3-4 pairs of shoes which match with their dark suits. • If women would only own a few dresses and consequently fewer shoes, they could theoretically save a lot of money. So why is this not the case?
The Dilemma: The theory • According to Hofstadter, widespread cooperation is more beneficial than widespread defection given that everyone is equally rational, informed and egoistical • By Hofstadter's analysis the solution should be that women can benefit the most if they cooperate to bring down the dress code for mutual benefit for women resulting in Pareto efficiency
The Dilemma • Basically, this situation is a prisoner’s dilemma, involving incentives. • While the individual’s incentive might be to spend not a lot of money on fashion, the group’s (in this case the workplace and society) incentive is different I.e. women are judged a lot more than men on how fashionable they are
The Dilemma: continued • Assuming that all women in business would be wearing casual clothes; • But because of the perception of society and fashion, the natural solution for the individual is to “dress up” more • However, this will be the natural choice of every women in the business world
The Dilemma: continued • Thus, this will lead to many women buying more dresses with matching shoes • In an economic sense, women would be better off not following the dominant strategy because of the “waste” of money on fashion
The Dilemma: Continued But then again, who would you be rather doing business with?
The Dilemma: Final thoughts • A woman’s dilemma is to look fashionable in today’s business world. To look fashionable, she has to have a lot of dresses with matching shoes, which are rather pricey. • Even if the dominant strategy is wasteful (giving up income), women prefer that cost rather than the alternative of looking unfashionable. • Thus, women tend to own a lot more shoes than men do.