- Series: Eliot Janeway Lectures on Historical Economics
- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; 20 edition (January 27, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691092923
- ISBN-13: 978-0691092928
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,520,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shifting Involvements: Private Interest and Public Action - Twentieth-Anniversary Edition (Eliot Janeway Lectures on Historical Economics) 20th Edition
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Winner of the Talcott Parsons Prize, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Original. . . . Mr. Hirschman, one of our most distinguished economists, is no ordinary writer. . . .even his offhand ruminations have always been interesting. So is this book.---Peter L. Berger, New York Times Book Review
Shifting Involvements can be read over and over again, with each reading disclosing new subtleties, so cunning is its construction and so original its standpoint.---Michael Banton, Times Literary Supplement
This interesting essay contains a wealth of ideas. There is a surprising freshness in the treatment of such a well worn topic as the relation between public and private concerns. . . . Intellectually stimulating.---David Berry, Times Higher Education Supplement
Literate, reflective, and sophisticated. . . . Hirschman's work . . . is proof that an economist with a knowledge of and sensitivity for history will avoid the oversimplifications of economic theorists who see the world and human behavior in one dimension.---Eli Ginzberg, Journal of Economic Literature
About the Author
Albert O. Hirschman is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is the author of many books, including Exit, Voice, and Loyalty and The Strategy of Economic Development. Robert H. Frank is Godwin Smith Professor of Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at Cornell University. He is the author of Luxury Fever (Princeton).
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Nevertheless, I recommend reading this book -- it briefly introduces a range of provoking ideas. These include: that potential for disappointment varies by type of good, that there are multiple responses to disappointment (including postponing response by ignoring problems or internalizing dissatisfaction), that consumers do not have perfect knowledge nor only a single set of preferences, that "comfort is the enemy of pleasure," that public involvement could disappoint for providing too much *or* too little opportunity for participation.
The book is more marketing/psychology than economics, but its arguments could help explain, for instance, our modern shift to disposible goods and possible methods for understanding voters by understanding second-order volitions. It gets you thinking, even if the primary argument of the book is less than convincing.