George Akerlof on Identity Economics

George Akerlof, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics, spoke recently at UWO Law on Identity Economics.

See more about the event on the UWO Law webpage.

1 Comment on "George Akerlof on Identity Economics"

  1. I’m reading the book now and came across this interesting entry on p. 85 in Chapter 4,

    Ethnographic studies indicate that people continue to view some jobs as appropriate for men and others for women. Those who violate these norms are often ambivalent about their work and subject to harassment and even violence. The anthropologist Jennifer Pierce spent fifteen months working as a paralegal at a San Francisco Bay Area law firm in the early 1990s and recorded how conceptions of male and female jobs played out in the workplace. The female lawyers wanted to think of themselves as women, but they faced a dilemma. Being a good lawyer meant acting “like a man.” It meant being “like Rambo,” “taking no prisoners,” “winning big,” and “having balls.” In a Christmastime skit, a male partner, Michael, is portrayed as comfortable in his authority. In contrast, a female partner portrayed in the skit, Rachel, is unable to make up her mind whether “to be a man or a woman.”

    The footnote for this paragraph adds,

    Other theoretical and experimental work explores a further departure from standard economic theory. It shows how pecuniary incentives can “crowd out” nonmonetary incentives, such as fairness, reciprocity, and adherence to social norms, thus leading to worse overall performance…

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