Can economics be
passionate? Can it center on people and what really matters to them day-in and
day-out? And can it help us understand their hidden motives for why they do
what they do in everyday life?
Uri Gneezy and John A. List are revolutionaries. Their ideas
and methods for revealing what really works in addressing big social, business,
and economic problems gives us new understanding of the motives underlying
human behavior. We can then structure incentives that can get people to move
mountains, change their behavior—or at least get a better deal.
But finding the right incentive can be like looking for a
needle in a haystack. Gneezy and List’s pioneering approach is to embed themselves
in the factories, schools, communities, and offices where people work, live,
and play. Then, through large-scale field experiments conducted “in the wild,”
Gneezy and List observe people in their natural environments without them being
aware that they are observed.
Their randomized experiments have revealed ways to close the
gap between rich and poor students; to stop the violence plaguing inner-city
schools; to decipher whether women are really less competitive than men; to
correctly price products and services; and to discover the real reasons why
To get the answers, Gneezy and List boarded planes,
helicopters, trains, and automobiles to embark on journeys from the foothills
of Kilimanjaro to California wineries; from sultry northern India to the chilly
streets of Chicago; from the playgrounds of schools in Israel to the boardrooms
of some of the world’s largest corporations. In The Why Axis, they take us along for the ride, and through engaging
and colorful stories, present lessons with big payoffs. Download and start listening now!