Which is obviously a pity, really. For instance, there is an interesting discussion on the fact that higher bonuses do not lead to better performance. If we want to stop them being paid, asking CEOs to make that decision off their own bat is probably the least likely way of achieving it.
Rational Economics confounds freedom with choice and ignores emotion entirely. More could have been done in this book to tie the ideas together and to match the title and show more of irrationality's 'upside'. There are some hints that Behavioural Economics might provide some hope of showing the benefits of more egalitarian modes of distribution. Books by Behavioural Economists tend to detail groups of experiments where people are forced to make decisions and how they invariably make decisions that are clearly not in their long term or even immediate interests and this is normally because people are notoriously bad at making decisions and are prone to all manner of predictable biases. Yet another shows that people tend not to donate money to causes if they are given lots of statistics about the enormity of the problem. So, what does Behavioural Economics stand in opposition to? I think if that is the case then Behavioural Economics may have more to offer than what it does today, a series of often disconnected even if fascinatingly interesting experiments. Which is obviously a pity, really. Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance , might make you question the worth of continuing the brand, but not Mr Ariely's books — his blogs are a constant joy and this book, although quite different from his last book, Predictably Irrational: Re-branding is, after all, the solution to all of the worlds ills why they haven't cha It is possible that I give far too many books five stars. Some of these books, like SuperFreakonomics: Humans seek meaning - meaning is what matters and is the link that holds most of Behavioural Economics together. I enjoyed this book very much and even though some of it is very confronting the last chapter on how his doctors saved his arm and whether this was a good or bad thing is, to use an Americanism, in your face I think the ideas contained in it are very important and I think he has successfully, and not gratuitously, used his life to illuminate his meaning. I still recommend you read this book. The problem is that sometimes how we make meaning of the world is either self-serving or flawed due to predictable biases we have. There is a lovely bit in Bright-sided: I think it is going to take more than a letter writing campaign explaining the negative effects of huge bonuses to those who benefit most from obscene bonuses to stop these bonuses being paid. Nevertheless, they do get the reader to think and getting to think is a good part of the reason why one reads in the first place. People need meaning in their lives and structuring their work so that it is meaningful is the best way to increase their performance, which is also why we tend not to give money to 'save the planet' causes as much as we give to find Snuggles, the lost puppy charities. If I was feeling cruel I think I would say that Behavioural Economics is a series of fascinating ideas in search of an over-arching theory. The simple answer is Rational Economics. If we want to stop them being paid, asking CEOs to make that decision off their own bat is probably the least likely way of achieving it. For instance, there is an interesting discussion on the fact that higher bonuses do not lead to better performance. Another part of the book shows that people need to feel their work is meaningful. Rational Economics is the view that people always act according to their best interests. At the start of this book Ariely mentions his talking to CEOs about the results of experiments he ran on the negative consequences of paying people huge bonuses, how large bonuses actually reduce performance — the CEOs essentially said that the results of his experiments simply did not apply to them and applied only to we lesser mortals. Rational Economics also confounds motivation with incentives.
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