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Markets and manipulation : time for a paradigm shift ?

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  • Basu,Kaushik

Abstract

There is a growing appreciation in economics that people have emotional vulnerabilities, commitments to social norms, and systematic irrationalities, which impact their decision making and choice in the marketplace. The flip side of this is that human beings are susceptible to being manipulated by unscrupulous agents who are single-minded about marketing their services and wares. This paper reviews George Akerlof and Robert Shiller's book, Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception, alongside other writings in the field, and discusses how this research agenda can be taken forward. The paper shows how this new research can shed light on the ubiquity of corruption in so many societies, and proposes ideas for controlling corruption.

Suggested Citation

  • Basu,Kaushik, 2016. "Markets and manipulation : time for a paradigm shift ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7653, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7653
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
    2. Hoff, Karla & Pandey, Priyanka, 2014. "Making up people—The effect of identity on performance in a modernizing society," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 118-131.
    3. John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee, 2011. "Happiness and Time Preference: The Effect of Positive Affect in a Random-Assignment Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3109-3129, December.
    4. Basu, Kaushik, 1989. "A Theory of Association: Social Status, Prices and Markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 653-671, October.
    5. Basu, Karna, 2014. "Commitment savings in informal banking markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 97-111.
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