Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much

Category: Book
By (author): Mullainathan, Sendhil
By (author): Shafir, Eldar
Subject:  BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
  PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Published: September 2013
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 9.43in x 6.43in x 1.13in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A surprising and intriguing examination of how scarcity-and our flawed responses to it-shapes our lives, our society, and our culture Why do successful people get things done at the last minute? Why does poverty persist? Why do organizations get stuck firefighting? Why do the lonely find it hard to make friends? These questions seem unconnected, yet Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir show that they are all examples of a mind-set produced by scarcity. Drawing on cutting-edge research from behavioral science and economics, Mullainathan and Shafir show that scarcity creates a similar psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need. Busy people fail to manage their time efficiently for the same reasons the poor and those maxed out on credit cards fail to manage their money. The dynamics of scarcity reveal why dieters find it hard to resist temptation, why students and busy executives mismanage their time, and why sugarcane farmers are smarter after harvest than before. Once we start thinking in terms of scarcity and the strategies it imposes, the problems of modern life come into sharper focus. Mullainathan and Shafir discuss how scarcity affects our daily lives, recounting anecdotes of their own foibles and making surprising connections that bring this research alive. Their book provides a new way of understanding why the poor stay poor and the busy stay busy, and it reveals not only how scarcity leads us astray but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success.
Review Quote*"[Mullainathan and Shafir] are stars in their respective disciplines . . . Their project . . . is the finest combination of heart and head that I have seen in our field."-Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow "Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir are a powerhouse duo. I consider Sendhil to be the most interesting young economist in the world. Eldar Shafir is the most brilliant psychologist in the field of judgment and decision-making to come along since Kahneman and Tversky. You can't ask for a better combination of authors to present their ideas to the public."-Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge
Biographical NoteSendhil Mullainathan , a professor of economics at Harvard University, is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" and conducts research on development economics, behavioral economics, and corporate finance. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Eldar Shafir is the William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He conducts research in cognitive science, judgment and decision-making, and behavioral economics. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.