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Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir – ‘Scarcity’ book review

Almost everyone struggles with deadlines, dieting and debts at some stage, but what if there was more to your problems than...

Almost everyone struggles with deadlines, dieting and debts at some stage, but what if there was more to your problems than just a lack of time, food or money?

Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir are the first to popularise the science of scarcity, a study of the human mindset when it experiences a deficient in a certain area.

As Ivy League professors in economics and psychology respectively, the duo are masters at exploring the causes and implications of scarcity, as well as selecting choice case studies and turning them over with a pleasing thoroughness. However, while they perhaps strain a little too hard to put the “pop” in pop psychology (complex experiments are sketched briefly, albeit with 40 pages of footnotes to compensate), it only serves to make this a pacey dissection of a potentially life-changing subject.

Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir's book 'Scarcity' is published by Allen Lane on September 5 priced £20. Click here to buy a copy.

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