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What's the Price of an Affair?

Felix Salmon ponders the economics of the Tiger Woods scandal

This article is from the archive of our partner .

The real question isn't with whom Tiger Woods had an affair, but how much he is willing to pay them to stay silent. Actually, that's only one of the questions business blogger Felix Salmon poses as he examines the economic angle on a salacious story. He wonders about the economics of affairs, and how all parties--cheating spouse, faithful spouse, lover, and, in Woods's case, tabloids--put a price on information:

Now that it's obvious that Tiger Woods has had affairs, why would he pay millions of dollars to buy silence from the "Tiger lilies"? ... How did Tiger (and, presumably, his lawyers) arrive at the amount of money by which he would increase his wife's prenup in the wake of the revelations? ... Then there's the tabloids: wouldn't they pay more for the first kiss-and-tell story than for the fourth? Do they, too, get caught up in the frenzy?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.