Economist Uses Invisible Hook to Snag Wench


pirate cake topper

I've got a longer review of Peter Leeson's The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates in the upcoming print edition of Reason, but to tide you over (get it? tide) here's some good news, and a glimmer of hope for nerds everywhere:

Pirates and economics may not be sexy subjects for a book, but economists tend to see things and do things a bit differently. So it made sense for Peter Leeson, an economist at George Mason University, to propose to his girlfriend in the preface of his forthcoming book, The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates. He presented the finished book (and a ring) to her on Friday—and she said yes. 

Leeson's publisher, Princeton University Press, made arrangements for the author to receive the first copy of the book's printing. Everyone at the press kept the proposal a secret and even went to the trouble of extracting that section of the book—which read, "Ania, I love you; will you marry me?"—from the advance galleys that were mailed out to the press.

Leeson, an economist at George Mason, writes about the economic incentives that drove pirates to gruesome acts like torture and marooning. While Leeson assures me that all the good mushy love stuff is far and away the primary motivation in this case, economic incentives may have helped nudge Leeson in the direction of this public (and publicity-driving) proposal. Way to go economics: Torture and elaborate engagements, both explained!

We raise a glass of rum to ye, Peter and Ania. Yo ho!