How our lives are shaped not only by the choices we make, but by the choices we have.
In many parts of life - jobs, housing, medical care, education, even a date on the Internet - price is not the only determinant of who gets what. So how do the other processes that influence who gets which goods, jobs, university places and partners really work?
In Who Gets What, Nobel Prize winning economist Alvin Roth uncovers the global rules of how markets allocate, how matchmaking shapes lives, where markets exist that we may not even realise, and how everything about our biggest experiences - from getting accepted at university or living where we want - can be better understood and negotiated when one understands the design of those matching markets.
The distribution of rewards is often unfair, but it's seldom as random as it seems, and Roth reveals just how much of our life takes place in marketplaces, and leads us to a new understanding of who gets what and why.
For fans of Freakonomics and Thinking Fast and Slow this groundbreaking book sheds new light on the politics of free markets, and how many things that we choose in life also must choose us.
"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's research on matching is special and unique in the economics field because it not only informs us about the world, but it tells us what we can do to make it better. It is about designing the world, and if I had to pick someone to design our world or guide us through it, it would be Al." (Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational)
"In lots of domains Al and his colleagues have improved the way markets work, and made lots of people's lives better as a result." (Richard Thaler, co-author of Nudge)
"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 Logic of Life and The Undercover Economist)
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This audiobook is an easy to listen to piece for Sunday afternoons. Alvin Roth has a quite unintentional humorous way to explain our markets of today. His experiences clearly made him an expert in economics through the glasses of game theory. His view is refreshing and his examples give you the opportunity to draw conclusions for many social conventions and conditions – being led by our ("western") economy, et vice versa.