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Micromotives and Macrobehavior by Thomas C.…

Micromotives and Macrobehavior

by Thomas C. Schelling

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This is the fundamental work behind the concept of "tipping points," recently brought into vogue by Malcolm Gladwell's book. Thomas Schelling was awarded a Nobel Prize partly for the work in this book. His Nobel lecture, contained in this new edition, is also very interesting. It puts forward the idea that the longer countries refrained from using nuclear bombs after WW2, the harder it became for a country to violate this social norm (not using nukes) - a kind of moral-capital accumulation. ( )
  Mandarinate | Jan 17, 2011 |
Thomas Schelling might be my new favorite economist, but the book used enough math to make my eyes glaze over. Although probably not intentional, the book thoroughly debunks the the idea that "the invisible hand" of the market always guides society to a socially good result. In particular, Schelling explains how somewhat innocuous racial preferences can lead to almost totally segregated neighborhoods.

(Full review at my blog) ( )
  KingRat | Apr 22, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393329461, Paperback)

Before Freakonomics and The Tipping Point there was this classic by the 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economics.

"Schelling here offers an early analysis of 'tipping' in social situations involving a large number of individuals."—official citation for the 2005 Nobel Prize

Micromotives and Macrobehavior was originally published over twenty-five years ago, yet the stories it tells feel just as fresh today. And the subject of these stories—how small and seemingly meaningless decisions and actions by individuals often lead to significant unintended consequences for a large group—is more important than ever. In one famous example, Thomas C. Schelling shows that a slight-but-not-malicious preference to have neighbors of the same race eventually leads to completely segregated populations.

The updated edition of this landmark book contains a new preface and the author's Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:39 -0400)

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W.W. Norton

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