Jon Birger | Award Winning Contributor to Fortune Magazine, Author of Date-Onomics, Frequent Guest on CNN, BBC,  CNBC, and NPR

Jon Birger

Award Winning Contributor to Fortune Magazine, Author of Date-Onomics, Frequent Guest on CNN, BBC, CNBC, and NPR

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Jon Birger

Jon Birger is an award-winning magazine writer, a contributor to Fortune magazine, and the author of DATE-ONOMICS: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game (Workman Publishing, September 2015). Drawing on economics, psychology and demographics, DATE-ONOMICS makes the case that increasingly lopsided gender ratios among college graduates -- 4 women graduating for every 3 men -- are what's really behind the rise of the hookup culture and the worsening marriage prospects for educated women. Jon argues that the problem with modern dating has little to do with Tinder or porn or women's unwillingness to follow some dating expert's "rules." The real problem boils down to a numbers game. The dating market for college-grad Millennials now has one-third more women than men, which means men have all the leverage. Jean Chatzky, financial editor of NBC's Today Show, calls DATE-ONOMICS "the Moneyball of dating," adding that "college-educated women wanting to improve their odds in today's wacky marriage 'market' will be dog-earing its pages." New York Times best-selling author A.J. Jacobs lauds DATE-ONOMICS as "a fascinating look at romance and what's going on with the mating rituals of homo sapiens today."

A sought-after speaker, Jon discusses the challenges of modern dating as well as on the origins of the college gender gap and its impact on college life and on the economy. His recent speaking engagements include The Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.; South By Southwest 2016 in Austin, Tex.; The Economic Club of Florida in Tallahassee, Fla., New York City's 92nd Street Y, and "The Great Love Debate," a comedy show touring the nation. Jon will return to South By Southwest in 2017 to lead a panel with Acura's advertising director. Their topic: how the college gender gap and the rise of Millennial women portend big changes in how luxury cars, jewelry and other premium products--all once purchased mainly by men--will be marketed in the future. Translation: opportunity for advertisers who recognize the shift and peril for those who don't.

Jon was a senior writer at Fortune from 2005 to 2010, where he wrote feature stories on Apple, Priceline and Royal Dutch Shell. Silicon Valley's AlwaysOn Network named him to its list of "Power Players in Technology Business Media." Jon's writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Fast Company, Barron's, Money, Time Magazine, The Daily Mail, and New York Magazine. Jon is also a familiar face and voice on television and radio, discussing topics ranging from the dating market to the stock market on ABC's Good Morning America, BBC World Service, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. Jon is a graduate of Brown University. He lives with his family in Larchmont, N.Y.

Jon Birger
Featured Videos

Current: CATO Institute

Time 32:51

More Videos From Jon Birger

CATO Institute
Time 32:51
CATO Institute Q&A
Time 29:26
WNYC : The Brian Lehrer Show
Time 16:28
Dating is a Numbers Game
Time 04:00

Jon Birger
Featured Keynote Programs

It's Not You, It's the Ratio
How Sex Ratios Affect Dating

Jon uses his DATE-ONOMICS research to explore how lopsided sex ratios are driving the hookup culture and distorting modern dating in the U.S. and other Western countries. Traditional dating advice books tell women it’s their fault — that they’d have their Mr. Right by now if only they hadn’t returned his text message an hour too soon or an hour too late. Nonsense, says Jon. His explanation: With four women graduating college for every four men, the modern dating market is lopsided in men's favor—at least if you went to college. The dating math is reversed in the blue-collar dating world, where it’s women who have the leverage. Jon discusses sex-ratio science as well as how shifting sex ratios throughout history have altered sexual mores from one generation to the next. He also shares strategies that college-educated women and non-college-educated men can employ to improve their dating odds.

What The Rise of Millennial Women Means for Big Business

Shifting sex ratios among the college educated will transform how America does business. Since 2000, 33% more women than men have graduated college, and historically there’s a strong correlation between education and wealth. Bottom line: Millennial women will be their generation’s high earners. This has huge implications for everyone from corporate recruiters to marketers of luxury goods. For recruiters, women-targeted benefits such as generous flex-time and maternity leave won’t just be good PR—they will be crucial to a firm’s very survival. For marketers, the rise of Millennial women portends big changes in how luxury cars, jewelry and other premium products once sold mainly to men will be marketed going forward. Translation: opportunity for advertisers who recognize the shift—and peril for those who don’t.

What College Applicants—and Parents—Should Know About Campus Sex Ratios

One of academia’s dirty secrets is that undergraduate admissions at private colleges and universities are exempt from Title IX, which is the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination at schools receiving public funds. Some of the most liberal, pro-feminist colleges in the country are now blatantly discriminating against female applicants. Vassar College, for example, has a 35% acceptance rate for boys vs. 21% for girls. At Brown University, it’s 11% for boys and 8% for girls. Why are elite colleges discriminating? It’s all about gender balance, says Jon. There simply aren’t enough boys applying to college, which has forced many colleges to favor male applicants at the expense of better-qualified women. Colleges have become obsessed with keeping their gender ratios below 60% female-40% male because deans and college presidents understand that lopsided sex ratios feed the hookup culture and even contribute to the campus rape scourge. Jon believes applicants and their parents should know know this too, which is why he urges them to take gender ratios into consideration before choosing a college. See Jon’s column on for more info:

Solving "The Boy Problem" in American Education

There's a boy problem in our schools. Since 2000, 33% more women than men have been graduating from college, and the US Department of Education thinks it will be 47% more women than men by 2023. What's going on? Conservatives blame feminism & Title IX. Problem is, the college gender gap is not a uniquely American problem. The numbers are similar in Australia, Canada and Europe too. The college gender gap even exists in China and Algeria—countries where school curriculums most certainly have not been hijacked by American feminists. Both the answer and the solution to The Boy Problem lie in understanding brain-maturity differences between boys and girls.

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