Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception

Phishing for Phools The Economics of Manipulation and Deception Ever since Adam Smith the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well being as if by an invisible hand In Phishing for Phools Nobel Prize winning economis

  • Title: Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception
  • Author: George A. Akerlof Robert J. Shiller
  • ISBN: 9780691168319
  • Page: 281
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well being, as if by an invisible hand In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm as well as help us As long as there is profit to be made, selEver since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well being, as if by an invisible hand In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm as well as help us As long as there is profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our ignorance through manipulation and deception Rather than being essentially benign and always creating the greater good, markets are inherently filled with tricks and traps and will phish us as phools Phishing for Phools therefore strikes a radically new direction in economics, based on the intuitive idea that markets both give and take away Akerlof and Shiller bring this idea to life through dozens of stories that show how phishing affects everyone, in almost every walk of life We spend our money up to the limit, and then worry about how to pay the next month s bills The financial system soars, then crashes We are attracted, than we know, by advertising Our political system is distorted by money We pay too much for gym memberships, cars, houses, and credit cards Drug companies ingeniously market pharmaceuticals that do us little good, and sometimes are downright dangerous.Phishing for Phools explores the central role of manipulation and deception in fascinating detail in each of these areas and many It thereby explains a paradox why, at a time when we are better off than ever before in history, all too many of us are leading lives of quiet desperation At the same time, the book tells stories of individuals who have stood against economic trickery and how it can be reduced through greater knowledge, reform, and regulation.

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      Posted by:George A. Akerlof Robert J. Shiller
      Published :2019-01-17T02:34:32+00:00

    1 thought on “Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception”

    1. After the 2008 collapse, economics has come under sustained criticism. The idea that economists and economic models were unable to predict the occurrence and scale of the crisis has damaged the credibility of mainstream economic thought to the average citizen. The theoretical premises of a certain mainstream economic school were called into question - the belief in human rationality, and that humans would always act to maximize their utility - this is the premise of an internally consistent mode [...]

    2. This book was not well-written, nor did it explain anything new about economics. If the field of economics wasn't so enamored with the greatness of free markets, despite its obvious shortcomings, maybe this book wouldn't have been written. But, it appears economists still largely think people act rationally, and there is some invisible hand guiding markets in the right direction, which is hard to believe given all the fraud that regularly occurs, not to mention the Great Recession. I would like [...]

    3. (1.5 stars) What's the target audience? High school students? People who only watch reality TV and haven't opened a newspaper since the 80s?Some ideas had the potential to be interesting, e.g. phishing equilibrium, the fact that the conventional neoclassical model needs to be modified because it can’t explain when and how “phishing” will occur, how the “stories” people tell themselves are an important component of the economic machinery, etc. Yet these concepts were left so fuzzy, broa [...]

    4. Bom livro para quem quer uma introdução ao espaço para enganadores na economia. Um pouco de economia moderna, um pouco de publicidade, regulação e cognição. Tudo para ilustrar como mercados desregulados e anarcocaptalismo invariavelmente dão espaço para muita gente ser enganada e grandes problemas. Algo que aparentemente os americanos ainda precisam aprender.

    5. I got to the end of this book and realized I'm not really sure what it's authors were actually arguing. They claim to be advocating a new mode of "equilibrium" (to use economics-speak), where the balance between supply and demand is replaced by a balance between "phishers" and "phools". It all makes sense intellectually but it felt unfinished. Let's grant this new model, for discussion's sake. How can we test its validity? What outcomes does it predict, where conventional models fail? I also str [...]

    6. Did not finish, which is very rare for me for a nonfiction book. Would file what I did read under "not even wrong" - full of fairly obvious observations, and if you're interested in cognitive bias or advertising or fraud or finance etc. that the book covers, read something else about those things instead.One star is maybe harsh, can imagine some people might get something out of it, but I was really unimpressed - and, most importantly, bored.

    7. I found this to be an excellent book on the subject of how institutions and industries use the 'levers' of human biases and frailties to motivate or otherwise convince people to act against their own best interests. This subject gives it a lot of ground to cover, as this sort of thing plays out in everything from food manufacturing to pharmaceuticals, and beyond. A well-written and engaging book on a serious (and at times upsetting) topic.

    8. Was expecting more. Their thesis about phools who are phished by alcohol was weak and ancedotal. Their political bias was definitely on display. I have more to say and revise this review in the next day or so.

    9. Billed as highlighting the economics of manipulation and deception, this book provides, albeit with a slightly over-used ‘device’ a very interesting look at how we are being cheated by the invisible, free-market hand that many economists assure us works for our common good.Can there be only winners or, for every winner must there be at least one losing counterpart? The authors must know their stuff, as you don’t get Nobel prizes (for economics) out of cereal packages. They provide a compel [...]

    10. Two of the world’s most famous behavioral economists are on a mission from God. Their task is critical. They must travel 239 years back in time, all the way to 1776, to introduce Adam Smith’s butcher, brewer and baker to their nemesis, the dreaded phisherman. If it all goes to plan, the economics profession, and the world at large, will be rescued from the touch of the invisible hand.Somewhere in the time capsule, and while they are waiting for the synthesis between the Phishing Equilibrium [...]

    11. The book written by George A. Akerlof (who won Nobel prize in Economic Sciences) and Robert J. Shiller contains a simple idea, that Chuck Palahniuk described in 1996:"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy sh*t we don't need." Unfortunately, Palahniuk somehow hadn't received his Nobel prize for this wonderful discovery. Sigh.In Akerlof's book it's not just advertising that makes us buy 'sh*t'. He describes how free markets create goods and services that s [...]

    12. This book has a reasonable concept behind it but is poorly executed in my opinion. The authors don't really give a clear idea of why they are writing the book until the very end. To give my own summary with the best possible spin, the authors (two very prominent economists) are interested in linking findings of behavioral economics with partial equilibrium (and perhaps general equilibrium) microeconomics. In general, the discipline of behavioral economics has focused heavily on special cases and [...]

    13. Bylo to takový nijaký. Autoři chtěli obsáhnout vše, nemluvili ale o ničem konkrétním. Jejich závěry byly často dosti pochybné. Bylo to hodně povrchní a s behaviorální ekonomii to nemělo vůbec nic společného. Nelíbilo. Nedoporučuji.

    14. Other books by the duo are better. There is nothing radical in here, if you have a well rounded knowledge of the world, you will just amass some anecdotes maybe find a new perspective or two on things you kind of knew.

    15. We live in a world where a plethora of materialistic lures compete for our attention and resources. We in turn are enslaved to and enraptured by wants which might on hindsight be totally inessential or unnecessary. Why is it that we fall prey to the tricks of unscrupulous dealers and businessmen even though we are rational and completely capable of making logical decisions. Why are we rendered incapable and vulnerable at those precise moments which call for clarity, alertness and judiciousness?N [...]

    16. Many of us are aware of the concept of “phishing.” defines this notion thus: “Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. The word is a neologism created as a homophone of fishing due to the similarity of using a bait in an attempt to catch a victim.” This book notes that phishing is als [...]

    17. Cognitive dissonance at its best. The authors struggle to maintain their free-market bone fides, but continue to run into the incapacitating contradictions to general equilibrium theory. In this case, Akerlof and Shiller illustrate the implications of behavioural economics, that is, people whose wants can be manipulated by greed or advertising. They argue that the existence of manipulable people creates its own demand – Says Law for dummies. “But let’s not carry our praise of markets too f [...]

    18. For any book of non-fiction which is attempting to advance a theory of how some aspect of the world works, there are at least two ways to judge it. One, is on the quality of the questions it raises. The second, is on the quality of the answers it gives. It is no condemnation of this book, that it is much better by the first standard, than by the second. The right questions are often harder to arrive at than the right answers to those questions.The term "phishing" comes from early computer hackin [...]

    19. القاعدة الاقتصادية تفترض انه عند وجود حاجة (الطلب) سيوجد من يلبي هذه الحاجه (العرض). عند وجود من يقبل ان يدفع مال مقابل خدمات او سلع، سيوجد من يقدم هذه الخدمات والسلعيسحب المؤلفان القاعدة ليقولا انه عند وجود فرصة لتحصيل او تعظيم المال (حتى بالخديعة والتضليل) فسيوجد من يستغل ال [...]

    20. It really seemed like the author was just trying to make "phishing for phools" the new popular phrase by expanding what it means to phish. The big problem is we already have a word for what the author is trying to describe. It's called "corruption". Sure the premise is fine: a free market doesn't lead to utopia. However, the author suffers from what the military calls "Mission Creep". The author strays from economics to seek out corruption in seemingly random industries, from pharma to the gover [...]

    21. An important bit of economics, although not necessarily well described. The authors are so bent on trying to make this work accessible that it seems to lose focus. It falls into a series of historical events and studies but doesn't try too hard to bridge them or probe deeper into the psychological or behavioral phenomenon at work. Still, from a standpoint of examining policies that societies have been able to put to work to address these issues, I have to recommend it.

    22. a rather short book. the title may suggest a comprehensive look into the link between economics and psychology, but that link was only briefly touched on. a good summary of major misbehaving in the recent time but it still lacks a meaningful recommendation. i like the last part of the heroes and i do appreciate the works from those 3 parties.

    23. Super disappointing book given the authors. It seemed super half-baked, and like it was just a first draft of a book they had put together.

    24. It is now a good forty years after the advent of the modern era of Globalization. In the public domain, we find sharp criticisms of Neo-liberal economics. There are concerns on income inequality. People feel that the odds are against the common man and stacked in favor of the big corporations. The much-touted trickle-down economics does not seem to be working. We have Thomas Piketty leading a critique on capitalism. Politicians like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbin in the UK question the fundame [...]

    25. See the full review at excellentbookreviews!Apparently, a good portion of current economic theories and models are based on an idealized model of the free market, where consumers and companies have access to complete market information and only make rational decisions. As a scientist, I believe that models should describe reality in a simplified manner. Models can contain a fair amount of idealization (physicists have their pockets full of infinite rods and frictionless springs), but they are on [...]

    26. An interesting study of behavioural economics with an interesting take against the now widely discredited notion that markets tend toward equilibrium.Rather than positing that all trade is good for me, good for you, the book examines the ubiquitous, though not too often discussed, phenomena, that many transactions are good for me, bad for you.Akerlof and Shiller use the analogy of "the monkey on one's shoulder" and examine a variety of scenarios in modern life, through the often difficult to can [...]

    27. A very well researched book by two Nobel memorial prize laureates. The authors have been engaged in path breaking research in finance and behavioral economics for the past few decades and this book is the product of some of those research topics. Specifically, the book deals with the lack of 100% efficient human decisions. Now this topic has been dealt with in the past, most notably by Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Past and Slow, however, this book is more economic centric and makes a much bolder c [...]

    28. An entertaining and informative analysis of the many ways consumers are hoodwinked by conmen, confidence tricksters and marketers. Though an easy and accessible read, this book by two celebrated economists, has a serious point to make -- that the free market equilibrium, considered efficient and Pareto optimal, might not be so if what consumers say they want is not what they really need (that will maximize their welfare). In other words, they caution against an attribution of optimality to marke [...]

    29. Akerlof and Shiller explain how, in free markets, people will take advantage of the vulnerabilities (mainly psychological and informational) of other people. They cover a lot of ground with examples, including cinnamon rolls, gambling, used car sales, home buying closing costs, smoking advertising, S&L bankruptcies, lobbying, and more. From two Nobel-winning economists, though, I was expecting more sophisticated and general analysis. Its overall message is only that there is a lacuna in econ [...]

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