An Economic Theorist's Book of Tales

Cambridge University Press, 26 oct. 1984 - 196 páginas
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.

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The market for lemons quality uncertainty and the market mechanism
The economics of caste and of the rat race and other woeful tales
The economics of tagging 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
Labor contracts as partial gift exchange
Loyalty filters
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Sobre el autor (1984)

George Arthur Akerlof is an American economist and Koshland Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Akerlof received his Bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1962, and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1966, and has taught at the London School of Economics. Akerlof won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics (shared with Michael Spence and Joseph E. Stiglitz). and is perhaps best known for his article, "The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism", published in Quarterly Journal of Economics in 1970. Akerlof's authored book titles include: An Economic Theorist's Book of Tales (Cambridge University Press, 1984), Explorations in Pragmatic Economics (Oxford University Press, 2005), and Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism (Princeton University Press, 2009).

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