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Download The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life, by Uri Gneezy, John Man Click for printable size audiobook cover
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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 people discriminate.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The authors’ lucid, engaging exposition of thought-provoking research spotlights some of our more perverse promptings—and their underlying logic.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Fun…this book will interest general readers as well as individuals and companies seeking to influence behaviors.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Uri Gneezy was born and raised in Israel, where he learned applied game theory firsthand in the streets of Tel Aviv. He is the Epstein/Atkinson Endowed Chair in Behavioral Economics and professor of economics and strategy at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.