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Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So…

Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much

by Sendhil Mullainathan (Author), Eldar Shafir (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Not what I expected but interesting nonetheless. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
I am listening to this on CD in my car. Very thought provoking about how scarcity of money, resources, time, social skills impact the nature and quality of our choices. ( )
  alancaro | Apr 20, 2015 |
A book I would read again. ( )
  INorris | Apr 20, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was really looking forward to reading "Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much" and it did not disappoint. Having too many things can affect many aspects in your life since the more there is, the less you can focus. It's an interesting concept in relation to how we perceive success and our own happiness. ( )
  goodinthestacks | Feb 25, 2014 |
In contrast to other popular science books, here for once is one that acknowledges that there are trade-offs in the world-more of everything is not necessarily better. Much is quite standard for an economist used to thinking about scarce resources, here attention. The novel point is that scarcity itself is costly. Scarcity reduces "bandwith", like a computer overloaded with running programs. An experiment with random assignment of rich and poor show how scarcity itself can be stressful and thus important beyond having fewer resources. Planning ahead is important for success-is there a difference between long-term thinkers and others? Maybe not, since find many who do not think ahead among students at good universities and other resourceful people. But there really are differences among, I would object, the question is what trait or combination of traits is more fundamental. Everyone tunnels, but it is a good idea to structure incentives well inside the tunnel. The authors recognize that we need to prioritize what to incentivize the poor to do, since every activity taxes bandwith. Effects on bandwith are important to consider and also to see as an outcome. E.g. helping a poor mother with full-day child care so she does not have to juggle so many arrangements. Allocated bandwith more important than number of hours, ref Ford and efficiency wages. ( )
  ohernaes | Oct 25, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mullainathan, SendhilAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shafir, EldarAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805092641, Hardcover)

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 are 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:13 -0400)

An examination of how scarcity--and our flawed responses to it--shapes our lives, our society, and our culture.

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