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Why Trust Matters: An Economist's Guide to the Ties That Bind Us Kindle Edition
Have economists neglected trust? The economy is fundamentally a network of relationships built on mutual expectations. More than that, trust is the glue that holds civilization together. Every time we interact with another person—to make a purchase, work on a project, or share a living space—we rely on trust. Institutions and relationships function because people place confidence in them. Retailers seek to become trusted brands; employers put their trust in their employees; and democracy works only when we trust our government.
Benjamin Ho reveals the surprising importance of trust to how we understand our day-to-day economic lives. Starting with the earliest societies and proceeding through the evolution of the modern economy, he explores its role across an astonishing range of institutions and practices. From contracts and banking to blockchain and the sharing economy to health care and climate change, Ho shows how trust shapes the workings of the world. He provides an accessible account of how economists have applied the mathematical tools of game theory and the experimental methods of behavioral economics to bring rigor to understanding trust. Bringing together insights from decades of research in an approachable format, Why Trust Matters shows how a concept that we rarely associate with the discipline of economics is central to the social systems that govern our lives.
Benjamin Ho writes about one of the most important and underexplored factors in how well society functions: trust. Why Trust Matters is clear, engaging, and persuasive: trust me! -- Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
This blurb is an act of trust between you, the potential buyer, and me, the esteemed writer who risked his literary reputation to endorse this book. I do so with no fear. Mostly because Benjamin Ho has written a great, necessary, fun, hopeful book that makes you rethink the very basics of society and partly because my rep isn’t all that great. -- Joel Stein, author of In Defense of Elitism: Why I'm Better Than You and You're Better Than Someone Who Didn't Buy This Book
Why Trust Matters validates my long-standing membership in the Ben Ho fan club. His deep knowledge of the historical record, his careful application of economic reasoning, and his charm shine through on every page of this highly readable account of the role of trust in economic and social life. -- Robert H. Frank, author of Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work
Trust is critical to civilization and its economy. Benjamin Ho provides a concise, sweeping, accessible, and fascinating summary of the different aspects of trust and their effect on a broad set of social institutions. Whether you are a seasoned economist seeking to broaden your knowledge of the field, a student beginning your journey, or a casual reader looking to deepen your understanding of the world, trust me, you will find this book invaluable. -- Ed Conard, author of Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You've Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong
Ho steps away from the mathematical formalisms of his subfield and writes lucidly and compellingly about the foundational concept of all social science. ― New Yorker
Highly recommended. ― Midwest Book Review --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B08L9QBKTZ
- Publisher : Columbia University Press (June 29, 2021)
- Publication date : June 29, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 1395 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0231189605
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #412,251 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Overall, this is a must-read for anyone interested in economics, behavior, or simply curious about the nature of everyday interactions and transactions.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
In the first chapter, Ho describes some aspects of trust, and even how it can be difficult for scholars in many fields to even precisely define what trust means. He also introduces the concept of the“trust game” experiment, as one way that economists study behavior. Chapter Two describes how trust has been central to human civilization over the years. Ho discusses how our social structures have evolved over the years, and even gets into human biology and how the brain process social interactions. Chapter Three investigates trust as it applies specifically to economics, and how economists use models and experiments to try to translate trust into a mathematical framework. Chapter Four deals with trust in other institutions, and Chapter Five discusses interpersonal trust, in individual relationships and interactions with others. In Chapter 6 Ho ties it all together, gives a summary and offers some future predictions.
Overall, I thought that this book was very well written, and approached the topic of trust from a few different perspectives that I hadn't considered before. Ho was able to explain these technical behavioral economics concepts in a way that was fairly easy to understand. He was able to move fluidly from history to biology to math and back to economic theory, with enough knowledge of each subject to make clear points; without ever being too overwhelming. It took me a little longer to read than some other books of similar length; and that was partly because I was unfamiliar with most of the economics, and partly because I sat and thought about some of the ideas for long periods of time between chapters. I won't promise that you will find it as interesting as I did, but I have to give it 5/5.