How Can I Land a Date With Halle Berry? [#KeepAskingWhy]

Art Carden,

Release Date
December 17, 2014


Basic Economics

Keep Asking Why is a new weekly video series (updating every Wednesday!) from Learn Liberty, where we take your questions, give them to our professors (no matter where they are in the world!), have them answer, and start a conversation with YOU.
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This week’s question comes from Facebook user Thomas Scurlock:
“I am an average looking guy who is about 5’7′ tall. Is there an economic calculation that would tell me exactly how much money I would need to get a date with Halle Berry?”
What would your answer be? Do you agree? What’s your question? Let us know!
► Check out more in our Keep Asking Why series here:

Hi, Naomi Broockwell here at the Learn Liberty headquarters in metro DC, giving you another segment of Keep Asking Why.
Now, we’ve been asking you on Facebook, Twitter,, to submit your burning questions to our scholars about economics, policy, and current events.
Hello, internet! I’m Samford University economist Art Carden. I’m answering some questions that have been submitted by Learn Liberty viewers via Facebook, Youtube, and other social media channels.
Thomas Scurlock asks, via Facebook: I am an average looking guy who is about 5’7” tall. Is there an economic calculation that would tell me exactly how much money I would need to get a date with Halle Berry?
Well, Thomas, the first thing we need to know is a couple of things about Halle Berry. As I understand it, Halle Berry’s been married several times, is married now, and according to a handful of internet gossip websites, might be on the verge of a divorce. I don’t know whether, ah, whether internet gossip sites should be taken as gospel truth or should be taken with a grain of salt, but hey, I read it on the internet, so that’s gotta be true, right?
Here’s how you wanna think about your prospects of getting a date with Halle Berry: you mention here that you’re an average looking guy who’s about 5’7” tall. I’m going to take that to mean that you’re not as sexy as Hugh Jackman, and you’re probably not as sexy as Aeon Skoble.
What you’re going to need to do is think about ways to make yourself equally attractive to, or a little bit more attractive than Halle Berry’s next best option. And you’re very wise to think about that perhaps in terms of money, or perhaps in terms of personality or something like that.
When we talk about labor markets we think about an idea called compensating differentials, and the idea of compensating differentials says that people might be willing to work for a little bit less in order to do a job that’s really fun. Or, you might have to pay them a little bit more in order to do a job that’s a little bit more dangerous.
When we think about compensating differentials and apply that to the, ah, to the matching market for prospective spouses or prospective dates or what have you, um, we want to think about providing a compensating differential in the form of a sum of money that makes up for the fact that, as you write, you’re an average looking guy who’s only about 5’7”.
Will Halle Berry go for it? Quite honestly, I’m not sure, I don’t know. I don’t know Halle Berry and I don’t know her preferences. But, you might be able to make it happen. So, I would say give it a shot. Go for it.
If you’ve got questions you are dying to ask, then please leave us a comment here on our Youtube page, right here. I-I don’t mean, I mean, on the, underneath the video, there’s a comments–I’m not–get your mind out of the gutter!