Incentives like bonuses usually lead to better performance. But sometimes they may not work. Offering money for dead rats may lead to people breeding more rats.
We have different tastes in kurtis, kababs and cars. But firms can use this information to make us pay more!
The Yin & Yang principle - toast and butter, chai and charcha, left and right shoes. Correct pairings are important for creating good teams to the design of joint liability lending programs.
What you know and believe about others plays an important role is decisions. Hence firms do market research and people want to get into elite educational institutions.
Decision-making is costly. If a menu card is too long the restaurant might close before you go through the entire menu and order your food.
Chankya and Sun Tzu already told us this! Whether it is chess or tic-tac-toe it is important to think how your rivals will approach the problem.
Sudipta Sarangi was born in the Steel City of Rourkela and began his journey at the Ispat (E.M.) School. He grew up on a steady diet of Amar Chitra Kathas and Indrajal comics and moved on to the Famous Five and other similar books. As he moved through the school system, he graduated to the usual mystery writers while also discovering major American authors. He read the classics as well, but often they were forced upon him. Incidentally, PG Wodehouse remains a favorite even today, but faces tough competition from Calvin and Hobbes. This was also time of no TV and as a kid he played cricket, football, badminton and rode his bicycle to school like many other children. Radio ruled – especially cricket commentary. Rourkela did not have enough books for Sudipta – his circle of avid reader friends had a complex network of book exchanges in place, often with strict deadlines that would even make the hawala system envious.
The next phase of Sudipta’s journey took him to Delhi. During his time in the Kirori Mal College hostel, he discovered poetry, both Hindi and English and as well as the fine of art of essay writing. It was in Delhi that he saw a Book Fair for the first time. That image of hundreds of book stalls in Pragati Maidan is still vividly fresh. It is reminiscent of the reaction of the Buena Vista Social Club band members on their first visit to New York city in the Wim Wenders documentary. DSchool, as always, an intense experience followed and reading papers took precedence over books. A moment of glory there – Sudipta Sarangi was research assistant to the John Dreze and Amartya Sen for their book India: Social and Economic Opportunities.
In 1994, it was “westward ho” and he came to the US to pursue his doctoral studies. Things were very different from India – frequent homework and tests took up most of the time. However, there were new authors to be discovered – Simenon, Akunin, Achebe, and the inimitable Amitava Ghosh to name a few. It was also a time to learn academic writing – the art of writing short crisp sentences with absolutely no frills. For example, the first chapter of Sudipta’s doctoral dissertation went through fifty-four drafts. Reading dense papers and writing about them takes up most of his time nowadays. However, he is still discovering new authors, especially reading children’s literature with his daughter. The Economics of Small Things is his first book. The journey continues…
Economists generally think of their audience as other economists. But in this book Sudipta Sarangi takes on the far more important task of explaining to a broader audience how the world-- in all its every day, quirky, rich detail--can be understood through the prism of economics. It is daring, illuminating, and entertaining at the same time. And you can even find out whether Mahatma Gandhi's complaint against the Indian Railways was economically well-founded.
In this charming, magical book, Sarangi shows that economics matters in our daily life. In little things, in little lives – in offering prayers, buying mangoes, watching movies, guarding shoes at the temple, wearing seatbelts. This book is economics as great entertainment!
In the Economics of Small Things, Sudipta Sarangi shows how a few simple principles of human behaviour can help us in understanding an extraordinarily diverse range of interesting phenomena in our day-to-day life. He writes with humour and a lightness of touch that is remarkable. The book is perfectly pitched – enlightening and delightfully readable!
Always wanted to know why the best Indian Alphonso mangoes seem affordable in American grocery stores but expensive in India? Or why India never had the proliferation of Blockbuster Video rentals like the US, instead had neighbourhood uncles renting out latest DVDs? Or why Indian drivers are loath to wear seat belts but quickly bow when passing a roadside temple? And what does all this have to do with complicated economic theories? Read Sudipta Sarangi’s delightful book to find out.