The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life
Uri Gneezy, John List
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Uri Gneezy and John List are revolutionaries. Their ideas and methods for revealing what really works in addressing big social, business, and economic problems gives us new understanding of the motives underlying human behavior. We can then structure incentives that can get people to move mountains, change their behavior—or at least get a better deal.
But finding the right incentive can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Gneezy and List’s pioneering approach is to embed themselves in the factories, schools, communities, and offices where people work, live, and play. Then, through large-scale field experiments conducted “in the wild,” Gneezy and List observe people in their natural environments without them being aware that they are observed.
Their randomized experiments have revealed ways to close the gap between rich and poor students; to stop the violence plaguing inner-city schools; to decipher whether women are really less competitive than men; to correctly price products and services; and to discover the real reasons why people discriminate.
To get the answers, Gneezy and List boarded planes, helicopters, trains, and automobiles to embark on journeys from the foothills of Kilimanjaro to California wineries; from sultry northern India to the chilly streets of Chicago; from the playgrounds of schools in Israel to the boardrooms of some of the world’s largest corporations. In The Why Axis, they take us along for the ride, and through engaging and colorful stories, present lessons with big payoffs.
Their revelatory, startling, and urgent discoveries about how incentives really work are both revolutionary and immensely practical. This research will change both the way we think about and take action on big and little problems. Instead of relying on assumptions, we can find out, through evidence, what really works. Anyone working in business, politics, education, or philanthropy can use the approach Gneezy and List describe in The Why Axis to reach a deeper, nuanced understanding of human behavior, and a better understanding of what motivates people and why.
2/C pms (black c + 3115) + emboss glossy lamination + spot gritty matte uv $26.99 Business / Economics courtesy of the author Can economics be passionate?... Uri Gneezy was born and raised in Israel, where he learned applied game theory firsthand in the streets of Tel Aviv. Dr. Gneezy is the Epstein/Atkinson Endowed Chair in Behavioral Economics and professor of economics and strategy at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. P r a i s e fo r t h e wo r k
looking pleased. It wasn’t long before word got around that some ridiculous Americans were doling out wads of money. Ultimately, 155 preselected people came to play the game. By the end of the day, the villagers didn’t want to let us leave. We managed to escape by jumping into our car with the remainder of our money—which we needed in order to conduct similar experiments in other villages— and we tore away from the scene, the people chasing at our heels. After a couple of weeks of such
Heights teachers’ union. Fortunately, these teachers were willing to try anything to help their students. We offered more than 150 Chicago Heights teachers a chance to earn an extra bonus.10 In one treatment, an individual teacher could strive for the $8,000 bonus; in another one, teachers working in teams of two split the bonus (the idea being that team teaching would allow them to share lesson plans and ideas). We also applied the same gain-versus-loss-framing, carrot-and-stick motivators that
Jan, a fifty-year-old white mother of teenagers, had graying hair, gold-rimmed glasses, and a nose red with cold. She wore a navy wool coat warmed by a beige muffler, and she was our secret agent. We paid her to ask random people on the street for directions to Chicago’s well-known Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). The first person she asked was a middle-aged white woman. She told Jan that the tower entrance was a short distance away. “Walk down two blocks to Michigan Avenue,
deal. After long negotiation, one emerges: Jim will pay $60,925 for the car. –––––––––– Now imagine the exact same scenario in the exact same conditions. The only difference this time is that Jim is a black man. Here’s the question: How much does Richard ask the black man to pay for the car? More? The same? Less? We found that, when shopping for high-end cars, black men were given final offers that were approximately $800 higher than the quotes white men received. Is this the same kind of