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Scroogenomics

Author: Joel Waldfogel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400831258
Size: 55.24 MB
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Christmas is a time of seasonal cheer, family get-togethers, holiday parties, and-gift giving. Lots and lots--and lots--of gift giving. It's hard to imagine any Christmas without this time-honored custom. But let's stop to consider the gifts we receive--the rooster sweater from Grandma or the singing fish from Uncle Mike. How many of us get gifts we like? How many of us give gifts not knowing what recipients want? Did your cousin really look excited about that jumping alarm clock? Lively and informed, Scroogenomics illustrates how our consumer spending generates vast amounts of economic waste--to the shocking tune of eighty-five billion dollars each winter. Economist Joel Waldfogel provides solid explanations to show us why it's time to stop the madness and think twice before buying gifts for the holidays. When we buy for ourselves, every dollar we spend produces at least a dollar in satisfaction, because we shop carefully and purchase items that are worth more than they cost. Gift giving is different. We make less-informed choices, max out on credit to buy gifts worth less than the money spent, and leave recipients less than satisfied, creating what Waldfogel calls "deadweight loss." Waldfogel indicates that this waste isn't confined to Americans--most major economies share in this orgy of wealth destruction. While recognizing the difficulties of altering current trends, Waldfogel offers viable gift-giving alternatives. By reprioritizing our gift-giving habits, Scroogenomics proves that we can still maintain the economy without gouging our wallets, and reclaim the true spirit of the holiday season.

What Money Can T Buy

Author: Michael J. Sandel
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1429942584
Size: 58.30 MB
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Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we allow corporations to pay for the right to pollute the atmosphere? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars? Auctioning admission to elite universities? Selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay? In What Money Can't Buy, Michael J. Sandel takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: Is there something wrong with a world in which everything is for sale? If so, how can we prevent market values from reaching into spheres of life where they don't belong? What are the moral limits of markets? In recent decades, market values have crowded out nonmarket norms in almost every aspect of life—medicine, education, government, law, art, sports, even family life and personal relations. Without quite realizing it, Sandel argues, we have drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. Is this where we want to be?In his New York Times bestseller Justice, Sandel showed himself to be a master at illuminating, with clarity and verve, the hard moral questions we confront in our everyday lives. Now, in What Money Can't Buy, he provokes an essential discussion that we, in our market-driven age, need to have: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society—and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets don't honor and that money can't buy?

Choosing Not To Choose

Author: Cass R. Sunstein
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019023170X
Size: 53.68 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Our ability to make choices is fundamental to our sense of ourselves as human beings, and essential to the political values of freedom-protecting nations. Whom we love; where we work; how we spend our time; what we buy; such choices define us in the eyes of ourselves and others, and much blood and ink has been spilt to establish and protect our rights to make them freely. Choice can also be a burden. Our cognitive capacity to research and make the best decisions is limited, so every active choice comes at a cost. In modern life the requirement to make active choices can often be overwhelming. So, across broad areas of our lives, from health plans to energy suppliers, many of us choose not to choose. By following our default options, we save ourselves the costs of making active choices. By setting those options, governments and corporations dictate the outcomes for when we decide by default. This is among the most significant ways in which they effect social change, yet we are just beginning to understand the power and impact of default rules. Many central questions remain unanswered: When should governments set such defaults, and when should they insist on active choices? How should such defaults be made? What makes some defaults successful while others fail? Cass R. Sunstein has long been at the forefront of developing public policy and regulation to use government power to encourage people to make better decisions. In this major new book, Choosing Not to Choose, he presents his most complete argument yet for how we should understand the value of choice, and when and how we should enable people to choose not to choose. The onset of big data gives corporations and governments the power to make ever more sophisticated decisions on our behalf, defaulting us to buy the goods we predictably want, or vote for the parties and policies we predictably support. As consumers we are starting to embrace the benefits this can bring. But should we? What will be the long-term effects of limiting our active choices on our agency? And can such personalized defaults be imported from the marketplace to politics and the law? Confronting the challenging future of data-driven decision-making, Sunstein presents a manifesto for how personalized defaults should be used to enhance, rather than restrict, our freedom and well-being.

Consumption And Spirituality

Author: Diego Rinallo
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415889111
Size: 28.76 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book sheds light on the consumption of spiritual products, services, experiences, and places through state-of-the-art studies by leading and emerging scholars in interpretive consumer research, marketing, sociology, anthropology, cultural, and religious studies. The collection brings together fresh views and scholarship on a cultural tension that is at the centre of the lives of countless individuals living in postmodern societies: the relationship between the material and the spiritual, the sacred and the profane. The book examines how a variety of agents – religious institutions, spiritual leaders, marketers and consumers – interact and co-create spiritual meanings in a post-disenchanted society that has been defined as a 'supermarket of the soul.' Consumption and Spirituality examines not only religious organizations, but also brands and marketers and the way they infuse their products, services and experiences with spiritual meanings that flow freely in the circuit of culture and can be appropriated by consumers even without purchase acts. From a consumer perspective, the book investigates how spiritual beliefs, practices, and experiences are now embedded into a global consumer culture. Rather than condemning consumption, the chapters in this book highlight consumers' agency and the creative processes through which authentic spiritual meanings are co-created from a variety of sources, local and global, and sacred and profane alike.

The Secrets Of Pirate Management

Author: Peter T. Leeson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400843162
Size: 31.46 MB
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What can today's corporate raiders learn from the scourge of the high seas? A lot, as it turns out! Pirates have a surprising amount to teach about building better organizations, promoting diversity in the workplace, and creating powerful brands, among many other business lessons. Curious to hear more? Then sign up for Professor Blackbeard's Management 101 class. And don't be late. He's got a hell of a temper. Princeton Shorts are brief selections taken from influential Princeton University Press books and produced exclusively in ebook format. Providing unmatched insight into important contemporary issues or timeless passages from classic works of the past, Princeton Shorts enable you to be an instant expert in a world where information is everywhere but quality is at a premium.

Digital Renaissance

Author: Joel Waldfogel
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691185433
Size: 53.70 MB
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How digital technology is upending the traditional creative industries—and why that might be a good thing The digital revolution poses a mortal threat to the major creative industries—music, publishing, television, and the movies. The ease with which digital files can be copied and distributed has unleashed a wave of piracy with disastrous effects on revenue. Cheap, easy self-publishing is eroding the position of these gatekeepers and guardians of culture. Does this revolution herald the collapse of culture, as some commentators claim? Far from it. In Digital Renaissance, Joel Waldfogel argues that digital technology is enabling a new golden age of popular culture, a veritable digital renaissance. By reducing the costs of production, distribution, and promotion, digital technology is democratizing access to the cultural marketplace. More books, songs, television shows, and movies are being produced than ever before. Nor does this mean a tidal wave of derivative, poorly produced kitsch; analyzing decades of production and sales data, as well as bestseller and best-of lists, Waldfogel finds that the new digital model is just as successful at producing high-quality, successful work as the old industry model, and in many cases more so. The vaunted gatekeeper role of the creative industries proves to have been largely mythical. The high costs of production have stifled creativity in industries that require ever-bigger blockbusters to cover the losses on ever-more-expensive failures. Are we drowning in a tide of cultural silt, or living in a golden age for culture? The answers in Digital Renaissance may surprise you.

The Oxford Handbook Of The Digital Economy

Author: Martin Peitz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195397843
Size: 31.69 MB
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The economic analysis of the digital economy has been a rapidly developing research area for more than a decade. Through authoritative examination by leading scholars, this Handbook takes a closer look at particular industries, business practices, and policy issues associated with the digital industry. The volume offers an up-to-date account of key topics, discusses open questions, and provides guidance for future research. It offers a blend of theoretical and empirical works that are central to understanding the digital economy. The chapters are presented in four sections, corresponding with four broad themes: 1) infrastructure, standards, and platforms; 2) the transformation of selling, encompassing both the transformation of traditional selling and new, widespread application of tools such as auctions; 3) user-generated content; and 4) threats in the new digital environment. The first section covers infrastructure, standards, and various platform industries that rely heavily on recent developments in electronic data storage and transmission, including software, video games, payment systems, mobile telecommunications, and B2B commerce. The second section takes account of the reduced costs of online retailing that threatens offline retailers, widespread availability of information as it affects pricing and advertising, digital technology as it allows the widespread employment of novel price and non-price strategies (bundling, price discrimination), and auctions, as well as better tar. The third section addresses the emergent phenomenon of user-generated content on the Internet, including the functioning of social networks and open source. Finally, the fourth section discusses threats arising from digitization and the Internet, namely digital piracy, privacy and internet security concerns.