Economics Without Romance: Valentine’s Day Edition

bouquet of roses

I’ve been married to a wonderful man for over 10 years. And I’ve never gotten roses on Valentine’s Day.

But I really don’t mind. In fact, I prefer NOT to get roses on February 14.

Why? I’m an economist. And I’m married to an economist.

Before you go thinking economists lack any capacity for romance, let me explain. Florists sell more roses on Valentine’s Day than any other day of the year.

We all know that roses are going to be more expensive on Valentine’s Day; data suggests the price increases at least 20 percent. But it’s not your florist’s fault. Sure, they know lots of people are going to be wanting to buy roses on Valentine’s Day. But they’re not raising the price just to “get you” or take advantage of a pierce from Cupid’s arrow.

Think of the rose suppliers, mostly in Ecuador, Mexico and Columbia. They have to employ more laborers leading up to February 14 in order to plant, tend to and harvest all those roses that are in such high demand. The suppliers also have to pay for bigger trucks and more transportation to haul the huge volume of roses to florist shops, grocery stores and online retailers. All of this is done to meet the increased demand from lovey-dovey consumers. Not surprisingly, this results in an increase in price.

Because my husband and I both understand supply and demand, we’ve decided not to pay the (understandably) high price for roses on Valentine’s Day and instead use the money for a date night on – you got it – a night other than February 14. Because, like roses, babysitters and dinner reservations are also in high demand on that day, with the resulting higher prices.

I do get flowers from my spouse. But most of the time they are given on a random day and for no reason, or because the flowers were on sale! Either way, I know my husband loves me – and I know he shares my love and understanding of economics. And we think that’s pretty romantic.

P.S. I don’t recommend surprising your loved one on Valentine’s Day with NO ROSES and expect it to work out well. Try convincing your sweetheart about the romance of supply and demand well in advance.

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