Identity Economics

Identity Economics

How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-being

Streaming Audiobook - 2010
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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 fourteen-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.
Publisher: [United States] : Gildan Audio : Made available through hoopla, 2010
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781596595088
1596595086
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIOBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (4hr., 30 min.)) : digital

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Cdnbookworm May 22, 2011

This book was interesting, but I was glad that I have a degree in economics as that made some more technical parts easier to understand.
It talked about a relatively new aspect of economics that uses individual or group identity perception to predict behaviour. Some types of identity are generally fixed (race, gender), while others are temporary and may change over time. Standard economics says that people would choose economic behaviours that would be of most benefit to them, but that doesn't always happen. Identity economics shows that how a person identifies themselves influences their behaviour (one example: they want to do what the rest of their peer group is doing so they fit in). The authors use examples from work, school, and home to show different ways this happens. They also show examples of both fixed identity and temporary identity and how behaviours can change over time.
It was quite interesting and can explain a lot of things that don't seem to make sense otherwise (like election results ;->) It made me think about things in a different way.

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