Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Beingby George A. Akerlof, Rachel E. Kranton
Pub. Date: 02/10/2010
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Identity Economics provides an important and compelling new way to understand human behavior, revealing how our identitiesand not just economic incentivesinfluence our decisions. In 1995, economist Rachel Kranton wrote future Nobel Prize-winner George Akerlof a letter insisting that his most recent paper was wrong. Identity, she argued, was the/i>
Identity Economics provides an important and compelling new way to understand human behavior, revealing how our identitiesand not just economic incentivesinfluence our decisions. In 1995, economist Rachel Kranton wrote future Nobel Prize-winner George Akerlof a letter insisting that his most recent paper was wrong. Identity, she argued, was the missing element that would help to explain why peoplefacing the same economic circumstanceswould make different choices. This was the beginning of a fourteen-year collaborationand of Identity Economics.
The authors explain how our conception of who we are and who we want to be may shape our economic lives more than any other factor, affecting how hard we work, and how we learn, spend, and save. Identity economics is a new way to understand people's decisionsat work, at school, and at home. With it, we can better appreciate why incentives like stock options work or don't; why some schools succeed and others don't; why some cities and towns don't invest in their futuresand much, much more.
Identity Economics bridges a critical gap in the social sciences. It brings identity and norms to economics. People's notions of what is proper, and what is forbidden, and for whom, are fundamental to how hard they work, and how they learn, spend, and save. Thus people's identitytheir conception of who they are, and of who they choose to bemay be the most important factor affecting their economic lives. And the limits placed by society on people's identity can also be crucial determinants of their economic well-being.
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Table of Contents
PART ONE: Economics and Identity
ONE: Introduction 3
CHAPTER TWO: Identity Economics 9
CHAPTER THREE: Identity and Norms in Utility 17
POSTSCRIPT TO CHAPTER THREE A Rosetta Stone 21
CHAPTER FOUR: Where We Fit into Today's Economics 27
PART TWO: Work and School
CHAPTER FIVE: Identity and the Economics of Organizations 39
CHAPTER SIX: Identity and the Economics of Education 61
PART THREE: Gender and Race
CHAPTER SEVEN: Gender and Work 83
CHAPTER EIGHT: Race and Minority Poverty 97
PART FOUR: Looking Ahead
CHAPTER NINE: Identity Economics and Economic Methodology 113
CHAPTER TEN: Conclusion, and Five Ways Identity Changes
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Biting into an economic text often tastes like dry toast, but this book has flavor and a lot of soul. George A. Akerlof, the 2001 Nobel laureate in economics, and Rachel E. Kranton, an economics professor, use a refreshing style to showcase their innovative exposition. They muster telling examples from playground politics to courtroom theatrics to explain how race, gender and class shape individual economic decisions. Now and then, they get stuck in academic prose and repeated explanations about the difference between their persuasive identity-based model and traditional economic analysis, but the model does persuade. The authors offer generous servings of tasty facts, chewy analysis and lively case histories. This is economics seasoned with real-life spice. getAbstract recommends this definitional book to specialists in persuasion, consumer product managers, educators and anyone trying to read the tea leaves of economic patterns.
Very interesting read.
This was an interesting book. It is a primer to introduce to the layman the ideas and concepts behind identity economics. It is well laid out and the presentation is clear. I liked the added depth that they added to the standard models. The book lulled toward the end as the same concepts were applied in exactly the same way to new dimensions of identity (the book covers gender, race, class [both social and in a work setting]). It is not a long book but still cost $24.95 as a hard cover which is the same for books twice its length.