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Strategies of Commitment and Other Essays / Edition 1

Strategies of Commitment and Other Essays / Edition 1

by Thomas C. Schelling


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All of the essays in this new collection by Thomas Schelling convey his unique perspective on individuals and society. This perspective has several characteristics: it is strategic in that it assumes that an important part of people's behavior is motivated by the thought of influencing other people's expectations; it views the mind as being separable into two or more parts (rational/irrational; present-minded/future-minded); it is motivated by policy concerns—smoking and other addictions, global warming, segregation, nuclear war; and while it accepts many of the basic assumptions of economics—that people are forward-looking, rational decision makers, that resources are scarce, and that incentives are important—it is open to modifying them when appropriate, and open to the findings and insights of other social science disciplines.

Schelling—a 2005 Nobel Prize winner— has been one of the four or five most important social scientists of the past fifty years, and this collection shows why.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674025677
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 09/30/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Thomas C. Schelling was Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Economics and School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland and Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy, Emeritus, at Harvard University. He was co-recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Table of Contents


1. Strategies of Commitment

Climate and Society

2. What Makes Greenhouse Sense?

3. The Economic Diplomacy of Geoengineering

4. Intergenerational and International Discounting

Commitment as Self-Command

5. Self-Command in Practice, in Policy, and in a Theory of Rational Choice

6. Coping Rationally with Lapses from Rationality

7. Against Backsliding

8. Addictive Drugs: The Cigarette Experience

Society and Life

9. Life, Liberty, or the Pursuit of Happiness

10. Should Numbers Determine Whom to Save?

Economics and Social Policy

11. What Do Economists Know?

12. Why Does Economics Only Help with Easy Problems?

13. Prices as Regulatory Instruments

Weapons and Warfare

14. Meteors, Mischief, and War

15. Research by Accident

16. Vietnam: Reflections and Lessons

Social Dynamics

17. Social Mechanisms and Social Dynamics

18. Dynamic Models of Segregation

Decisions of the Highest Order

19. The Legacy of Hiroshima



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