Choice and Consequence

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Harvard University Press, 1984 - Business & Economics - 363 pages
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Thomas Schelling is a political economist ‚eoeconspicuous for wandering‚e ‚e"an errant economist. In Choice and Consequence, he ventures into the area where rationality is ambiguous in order to look at the tricks people use to try to quit smoking or lose weight. He explores topics as awesome as nuclear terrorism, as sordid as blackmail, as ineffable as daydreaming, as intimidating as euthanasia. He examines ethical issues wrapped up in economics, unwrapping the economics to disclose ethical issues that are misplaced or misidentified.

With an ingenious, often startling approach, Schelling brings new perspectives to problems ranging from drug abuse, abortion, and the value people put on their lives to organized crime, airplane hijacking, and automobile safety. One chapter is a clear and elegant exposition of game theory as a framework for analyzing social problems. Another plays with the hypothesis that our minds are not only our problem-solving equipment but also the organ in which much of our consumption takes place.

What binds together the different subjects is the author‚e(tm)s belief in the possibility of simultaneously being humane and analytical, of dealing with both the momentous and the familiar. Choice and Consequence was written for the curious, the puzzled, the worried, and all those who appreciate intellectual adventure.

 

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Contents

Economic Reasoning and the Ethics of Policy
1
Command and Control
27
The Intimate Contest for SelfCommand
57
Ethics Law and the Exercise of SelfCommand
83
The Life You Save May Be Your Own
113
Strategic Relationships in Dying
147
Economics and Criminal Enterprise 755
158
What Is the Business of Organized Crime?
179
A Framework for the Evaluation of Arms Proposals
243
The Strategy of Inflicting Costs
268
Who Will Have the Bomb?
297
Thinking about Nuclear Terrorism
309
The Mind as a Consuming Organ
328
Notes
349
Sources
355
Index
357

Strategic Analysis and Social Problems 795
195
What Is Game Theory?
213

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About the author (1984)

Thomas Crombie Schelling was born in Oakland, California on April 14, 1921. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1944. After working as an analyst for the federal Bureau of the Budget, he attended Harvard University. He spent two years in Denmark and France as an economist for the Economic Cooperation Administration. In 1950, he joined the White House staff of the foreign policy adviser to President Harry S. Truman. In 1951, he received his doctorate from Harvard and published his first book, National Income Behavior: An Introduction to Algebraic Analysis. He taught economics at Yale University, Harvard University, and the University of Maryland's Department of Economics and School of Public Policy before retiring in 2003. He wrote several books during his lifetime including International Economics, The Strategy of Conflict, Strategy and Arms Control written with Morton H. Halperin, Arms and Influence, Micromotives and Macrobehavior, Choice and Consequence, and Strategies of Commitment. In 2005, he and Robert J. Aumann received the Nobel Prize in economic science for "having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis." He died on December 13, 2016 at the age of 95.

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