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An Economic Theorist's Book of Tales - George A. Akerlof

An Economic Theorist's Book of Tales

Paperback

Published: 4th February 1985
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These essays explore what happens when a skilful economist makes unconventional assumptions. Economic theory has traditionally relied upon a tacit and 'classical' set of assumptions that have gradually acquired a life of their own in defining how economists write and how they justify economic models. Similarly, these assumptions have acquired an autonomous character: they guide the way economists think about the world. In consequence, consideration of alternative assumptions has become taboo. These essays are substantively and stylistically novel because they break these taboos and bring new assumptions into economic theory. The papers apply this adventurous approach to a wide range of issues - from insurance markets and trade in underdeveloped countries to unemployment and discrimination. Some of the essays derive the implications for economic markets of costly asymmetric information. Others explore the findings of other social sciences such as anthropology, psychology, and sociology.

'These essays show how much good can come from combining skillful economic analysis with a willingness to take seriously the elementary facts of social life. Many of us pay lip service to that ideal; George Akerlof is one of the few who actually live up to it, with fascinating results.' Robert M. Solow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The market for G++lemonsG++: quality uncertainty and the market mechanism
The economics of caste and of the rat race and other woeful tales
The economics of G++taggingG++ as applied to the optimal income tax, welfare programs, and manpower planning
A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence
Jobs as dam sites
The economic consequences of cognitive dissonance with
Labor contracts as partial gift exchange
Loyalty filters
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521269339
ISBN-10: 0521269334
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 4th February 1985
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.34 x 13.84  x 1.42
Weight (kg): 0.25