Who Gets What - and Why: Understand the Choices You Have, Improve the Choices You Make
This book shows how our lives are shaped not only by the choices we make, but by the choices we have. From dating, school and university applications to the job market, understand the most important decisions you'll ever make with insights from a Nobel Prize-winner.
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This book shows how our lives are shaped not only by the choices we make, but by the choices we have. From dating, school and university applications to the job market, understand the most important decisions you'll ever make with insights from a Nobel Prize-winner. Who Gets What and Why is a piquantly written, mind-expanding exploration of the markets that matter most to many of us. If you've ever sought a job or hired someone, applied to university or guided your child into a good school, asked someone out on a date or been asked out, you have participated in a matching market. They are everywhere around us and account for some of the biggest technological successes of the decade, like Uber and Airbnb. Matching markets can even be the gatekeeper of life itself, guiding how desperately ill patients receive scarce organs for transplants. Alvin E. Roth shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in economics for his pioneering research into market design - the principles that govern all kinds of markets where money isn't the only factor in determining who gets what.
His book reveals what factors make these markets work well - or badly - and shows us all how to recognise a good match and make smarter, more confident decisions.
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'Who Gets What is a pleasure to read. It's also a pleasure to discover that rare species, a humble economist. Humble but useful' Wall Street Journal 'In his fluent and accessible book, Roth vividly describes the successes of market design ... Roth discusses a huge array of fascinating market designs: from auctions for the sale of radio spectrum to high-frequency trading; from apartment lettings on Airbnb to sorority rushes; from the allocation of prestigious clerkships to the assignment of public-school places. Mr Roth has not managed to improve all of them, and his descriptions of failures are often as illuminating as the success stories' Economist 'An exciting practical approach to economics that enables both individuals and institutions to achieve their goals without running afoul of the profit motive' Kirkus 'This book's lessons are practical as well as theoretical. Understanding how matching markets operate can help readers navigate them more effectively. A solid match for readers in general economics and business collections' Library Journal 'He's perfectly brilliant and everyone knows it. But Roth is also an articulate and witty scientist with an impish sense of humour who can make even the most complicated idea seem so simple that you wonder why you didn't think of it yourself. Roth's thinking has revolutionised the design of the 'matching systems" Daniel Gilbert, author of the best-selling Stumbling on Happiness 'Al Roth is a brilliantly original thinker, but he has spent his entire career solving real, practical problems. He designs markets, but has thought harder than anyone about the ethics and emotions of the marketplace. What's more, he saves lives. Not in some abstract sense: he has saved the lives of real people, and you can shake their hands, look them in the eye, and hear them tell you how he did it. We need more economists like him' Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist