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Publisher's Summary

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 people—facing the same economic circumstances—would make different choices. This was the beginning of a 14-year collaboration—and of Identity Economics.

Identity economics is a new way to understand people’s decisions at 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 futures—and 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 identity—their conception of who they are, and of who they choose to be—may 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.

©2010 George Akerlof, Rachel Kranton (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • morton
  • Rego Park, NY, United States
  • 02-16-10

A Fascinating and Thought Provoking Audio

This interesting and thought provoking audio puts forth the idea that incorporating identity into economics is as important as incorporating human judgment...that understanding economic organizations such as corporations and factories requires a detailed understanding of the identity and roles played by individuals within that organization.

Exploring gender and ethnic identities and how they relates to economic policy, and to poverty, anyone with an interest in sociology or behavioral economics will find this audio book fascinating. I really enjoyed listening.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jose
  • PanamaPanama
  • 02-14-10

Extreemly Boring

I have never taken the time to write a review , however this time I really needed to warn everybody not to waste time or money on this book. The main thesis is very weak , and the story telling style of the author is boring. For sure I would fall asleep in his clases.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful