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The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life | [Uri Gneezy, John A. List]

The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life

Uri Gneezy and John List are like the anthropologists who spend months in the field studying the people in their native habitats. But in their case they embed themselves in our messy world to try and solve big, difficult problems, such as the gap between rich and poor students and the violence plaguing inner city schools; the real reasons people discriminate; whether women are really less competitive than men; and how to correctly price products and services. Their field experiments show how economic incentives can change outcomes.
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Publisher's Summary

Uri Gneezy and John List are like the anthropologists who spend months in the field studying the people in their native habitats. But in their case they embed themselves in our messy world to try and solve big, difficult problems, such as the gap between rich and poor students and the violence plaguing inner city schools; the real reasons people discriminate; whether women are really less competitive than men; and how to correctly price products and services.

Their field experiments show how economic incentives can change outcomes. Their results will change the way we both think about and take action on big and little problems, and force us to rely no longer on assumptions, but upon the evidence of what really works.

©2013 Uri Gneezy and John List; preface copyright Steven D. Levitt (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What the Critics Say

"The authors' lucid, engaging exposition of thought-provoking research spotlights some of our more perverse promptings - and their underlying logic." (Publishers Weekly)

"It is hard to imagine any story of innovation in our thinking about economics that does not involve Uri and John. Both in their independent work and in their joint projects, they have expanded and looked at the sensitive underbelly of economics. I can't think of a book that I'm looking forward to more than this one." (Prof. Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University; author, Predictably Irrational)

"John List and Uri Gneezy are among the foremost behavioral economists in the world. Their ideas have been groundbreaking, and their research has been widely read and hugely influential. I'll be eager to read any book they produce." (Prof. Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; author of Stumbling on Happiness)

"John List and Uri Gneezy have done the pioneering economic work on whether gender differences are innate or the result of social pressures. They are two of America's leading young economists and their work is followed with great interest." (Prof. Tyler Cowen, George Mason University; author, The Economic Scene)

"John List and Uri Gneezy are leaders in the area of experimental and behavioral economics and rising stars of the profession. Their work bridges the gap between the lab and the field and enables us to learn how economic agents make real decisions in controlled environments and as the economic stakes change. A book bringing their distinctive perspectives and styles has the potential of being a real home run." (Prof. Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics, M.I.T.; coauthor of Why Nations Fail)

"Gneezy and List are two of the most brilliant and interesting economists in the world. Their work is simultaneously scientifically path breaking and accessible to the general public. They've studied prosaic markets like baseball card conventions, daycare centers, and auto-repair shops, but their ideas are so deep that Gneezy and List reveal that these mundane markets turn out to hold the secrets of human motivation and human behavior. Their work has revolutionized all of social science. I can't wait to read a book that they write." (Prof. David Laibson, Professor of Economics, Harvard University)

"John List's work in field experiments is revolutionary." (Prof. Gary Becker, University of Chicago, Nobel Laureate in Economics)

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