Friday, March 12, 2010
Akerloff and Kranton on "Identity Economics"
My inbox has been overflowing with excellent new books of late. I hope to blurb a few of them in the coming weeks. Let me start by mentioning a new book by Economics "Nobel" winner George Akerloff and Rachel Kranton titled Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being. Here's a description:
Identity economics is a new way to understand people's decisions -- at work, at school, and at home . . . Identity Economics bridges a critical gap in the social sciences. It brings identity and norms to economics. . . . [P]eople's identity -- their concemption of who they are, and of who they choose to be -- may be the most important factor affecting their economic lives. And the limits placed by society on people's identity can also be crucial determinants of their economic well-being.
This is a very readable book on an important subject. Those who are interested in the implications of identity economics for law should certainly also be reading the work of Claire Hill of the University of Minnesota Law School. I hope she'll review the book, and I certainly hope law reviews that still believe in the forgotten art and importance of book reviews will ask her, our own Orly Lobel, Cass Sunstein, or someone else to review this intriguing new book.
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