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GEM13: Sendhil Mullainathan on Scarcity

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Published on Nov 11, 2013

At the 2013 Global Empowerment Meeting, Harvard University economics professor Sendhil Mullainathan explains how scarcity - and our flawed responses to it - shapes our lives, our society, and our culture. Research from behavioral science and economics shows that scarcity generates a similar psychological reaction for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need. The dynamics of scarcity reveal why dieters find it hard to resist temptation, why students mismanage their time and why sugarcane farmers are smarter after the harvest than before. Once we start thinking in terms of scarcity and the strategies it imposes, the problems of modern life come into sharper focus. Scarcity provides a new way of understanding why the poor stay poor and reveals not only how scarcity leads us astray, but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success.

For more on the Global Empowerment Meeting, visit http://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/ci...

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