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Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much

af Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir (Forfatter)

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3932148,194 (3.75)12
An examination of how scarcity--and our flawed responses to it--shapes our lives, our society, and our culture.

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Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
I finally got to it because it’s been sitting on my bookshelf unread for far too long, and I noticed an increase in the mention of “scarcity mindset” in common parlance.

The basic premise is as follows: out of inadequate economic conditions emerges a scarcity mindset that leads to “tunneling,” which then worsens the condition within which a person is trapped. Scarcity is a common denominator in human behaviors which we understand to perpetuate negative social and economic outcomes. The key is that it’s the context that gives rise to it; it’s not an inherent, predetermined condition of a given individual.

The book is largely based on studies in the fields of behavioral economics and cognitive psychology. The authors give plenty of anecdotes to drive the point, in addition to their research interpretations, making it an inviting read.

Even as they argue the importance of the context, there is no structural analysis nor is there any mention of how scarcity afflicts different social categories differently. A universalist view of social reality with a focus on the patterns individual behaviors.

Easy read, interesting concepts, worth a quick browse. ( )
  pepperabuji | Jun 18, 2020 |
great great book ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
Ideas and concepts are reasonable, but the implementation is overwrought and appears to be excessive padding. The book cannot decide what it wants to be, beyond just getting itself published. ( )
  Mithril | Jun 29, 2018 |
A compelling exploration of the effects of scarcity of a resource in life and psychology.

The authors use various sociological methods to explore the effects of scarcity on a person. They demonstrate that scarcity has the ability to focus the mind: we focus better when we're approaching a deadline, for example. But that scarcity bonus has a cost: we tend to "tunnel," or focus only on one set of issues to the neglect of others. We can become overtaxed in our resource, be it time, money, or both, and find ourselves in a neverending cascade of crises.

The authors speak of the value of slack: time or money which can be "wasted," or, alternatively, can provide the breathing space needed to get out of the scarcity trap. Those with greater resources have more slack and thus are able to cope and manage scarcity and challenges more effectively. Such is why poverty is in a different class of scarcity than time or diet: people can decide to not do a project or two and get some time back, a person can quit a diet, but it's nearly impossible to quit being poor.

The authors speak of ways in which we can trick ourselves into avoiding the tunnel and to alleviate aspects of the scarcity trap. They do very well to describe and feature the premise of bandwidth: people have only so much bandwidth to give in life, and if it is overtaxed because of financial crises, time management issues, etc., they prove less productive, more prone to mistakes, and liable to burnout. People do well to give thought to their bandwidth and how they can most effectively maintain it through the difficulties of life.

Whether you wish to understand why people in poverty act as they do, or if you're convinced you're always too busy or never have enough time or money, this book is worth a read. ( )
  deusvitae | Jun 27, 2018 |
Quite a bit of behavioral psychology, and I found it pretty interesting for the most part. Particularly like the passage about how people calculate the desirability / precedence of what actually constitutes a monetary bargain. Larger sums require larger percentage bargains to be desirable. Poor people treat it completely differently, and saving $50 is saving $50.

Authors throw a lot of psychological theory and terms at you, so it was a little hard to keep it all together in my brain.The bandwidth concept is interesting. Not sure that I agree w the concept that poor folks have more decisions to make about life. I also struggle w the idea that poor people can't remember to take their medication, wtf. ( )
  delta351 | Dec 20, 2017 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Mullainathan, SendhilForfatterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Shafir, EldarForfatterhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Barile, GiuseppeOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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An examination of how scarcity--and our flawed responses to it--shapes our lives, our society, and our culture.

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