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Micromotives and Macrobehavior Paperback – October 17, 2006
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Mr. Schelling s [book] transformed the way many economists think about the relationship between competition and social welfare. --Robert Frank"
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Top Customer Reviews
Although you don't have to be a mathematician or economist to understand Schelling's writing, those who aren't may get bored with the litany of mathematical possibilities that he uses to explain why some models help explain much of the phenomena he discusses. Barring that criticism, many of his examples entice the reader to think about things in a new light. For example, why do audiences tend to sit in the middle or rear seats and not up front during performances or why do we suffer from traffic congestion? The author describes how the overall result of too much traffic or empty seats in the front rows occurs from the numerous individual decisions people make on where to sit or drive. Thus, if the front ten rows in an auditorium were empty, everyone would be better off moving forward ten rows. Nothing would change in their relative positions in the audience, but everyone could hear better. Why doesn't this occur? Read Micromotives and Macrobehavior to find out.
As an economics instructor, I would consider using this book as a supplement to a course in applied economics (or mathematics). Schelling's writing could help interest student's in the subject matter of externalities more than many of the textbooks on the market. Great read!
Schelling has a lovely way of writing. I have just cruised through a hundred pages without noticing the clock. Then I figured I probably should give this book a favourable review. You do not have to be an economist to enjoy this book, although you might want to become one after you have read it.
There are some basic problems of arithmetic that our desires might well create; Schelling very charmingly entitles a chapter on this subject "The Inescapable Mathematics of Musical Chairs." If we all want to live a solitary life in the country, we'll all move to the country and find ourselves surrounded by the people we were trying to escape. We can't all dispose of our Canadian quarters, says Schelling: you pawn off your quarters on me, I pawn them off on my neighbor, and yet still the total stock of quarters is exactly where it was. This accounting for musical chairs gives economics much of its power. It's what happens when you take your eyes off individuals for just a moment and think about their behavior in crowds.
What happens if no one in a university can stand being in the bottom 10% of his class? The bottom 10% will leave. Now 90% of the original class is left, and there's a new bunch in the bottom 10%. They leave. And so forth. Eventually, if this process continues, the class will whittle down to 10% of its original size.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite a new introduction and the additional of a chapter about Mutually Assured Destruction from the perspective of the end of the Cold War, this is very much a book of the late... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Neurasthenic
The book has great insights and mental models about how individual behaviors affect collective behaviors in a way that sometimes is counterintuitive. Read morePublished 16 months ago by IronGaspar
Schelling's books are brilliant: lucid, engaging, and enlightening. This one is no exception.Published 17 months ago by Kamala
Interesting look into behavior but repetitive and I really wanted to put it down. I was looking for something more like the "Tipping Point" and this reminded me of the time... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Momma Bear
People take decisions, based on their environment, which is compromised of the decisions others have taken, based on their environment, and so on... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Takis
Schelling pones an important question about the actual sociology. The game theory is sufficient for a preview of the future, almost in the sense that it can construct model apted... Read morePublished on December 19, 2011 by Edoardo Angeloni