Cameron Hawkins is Assistant Professor of History at Queensborough Community College, New York.
Nobel laureate Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans—predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth—and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.
Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments.
Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber.
Laced with antic stories of Thaler’s spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.
Shortlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Not so fast. Place, argues the great urbanist Richard Florida, is not only important, it's more important than ever. In fact, choosing a place to live is as important to your happiness as choosing a spouse or career. And some regions, recent surveys show, really are happier than others. In Who's Your City, Creative Class guru Richard Florida reports on this growing body of research that tells us what qualities of cities and towns actually make people happy—and he explains how to use these ideas to make your own choices. This indispensable guide to how people can choose where to live and what those choices mean to their lives and their communities is essential reading for everyone from urban planners and mayors to recent graduates.
Charles Montgomery's Happy City will revolutionize the way we think about urban life.
After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks, and tower dwelling an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl?
The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, and during an exhilarating journey through some of the world's most dynamic
cities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a "sexy" lipstick-red bus to ease status anxiety in Bogotá; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris's urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have transformed their lives by hacking the design of their streets and neighborhoods.
Full of rich historical detail and new insights from psychologists and Montgomery's own urban experiments, Happy City is an essential tool for understanding and improving our own communities. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting our cities for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city, the green city, and the low-carbon city are the same place, and we can all help build it.
The Responsive City is a guide to civic engagement andgovernance in the digital age that will help leaders link importantbreakthroughs in technology and data analytics with age-old lessonsof small-group community input to create more agile, competitive,and economically resilient cities. Featuring vivid case studieshighlighting the work of pioneers in New York, Boston, Chicago andmore, the book provides a compelling model for the future ofgovernance. The book will help mayors, chief technology officers,city administrators, agency directors, civic groups and nonprofitleaders break out of current paradigms to collectively addresscivic problems. The Responsive City is the culmination ofresearch originating from the Data-Smart City Solutions initiative,an ongoing project at Harvard Kennedy School working to catalyzeadoption of data projects on the city level. The book isco-authored by Professor Stephen Goldsmith, director of Data-SmartCity Solutions at Harvard Kennedy School, and Professor SusanCrawford, co-director of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet andSociety. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg penned thebook’s foreword.
Based on the authors’ experiences and extensive research,The Responsive City explores topics including:Building trust in the public sector and fostering a sustained,collective voice among communities;Using data-smart governance to preempt and predict problemswhile improving quality of life;Creating efficiencies and saving taxpayer money with digitaltools; andSpearheading these new approaches to government with innovativeleadership.