Scarcity: Why Having too little means so much

bySendhil Mullainathan
Rating 8 /10 Readability
Read Time 8 hrs Readible On
Published: 2013Read: October 25, 2013Pages: 304
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by Juvoni Beckford@juvoni

On a personal note, this was an important book for me to read. Mullainathan and Shafir show that scarcity creates a similar psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need. Growing up in a single-parent household right along with poverty line, I witnessed firsthand the "Scarcity Trap", that occurs when the brain is so thoughtfully focused on what is lacking that thinking about other things and beyond the short-term is tough. Scarcity takes up the minds capacity and leads us to focus on immediate needs while diminishing willpower and other impulse control behaviors needed to make good long-term priority decisions, which makes being poor even more of a burden to overcome one's circumstances on a psychological level. The scarcity of time also traps busy people into making poor time making decisions. Drawing on substantial research from behavioral science, economics as well as anecdotes and stories from those trapped in Scarcity Mindset, Scarcity provides a new way of understanding why the poor stay poor and the busy stay busy. Mullainathan and Shafir also show how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success.

Motivations to Read

I discovered this book when Sendhil discussed it on an NPR podcast. I am very drawn to social issues and the psychological and systemic analysis behind poverty. In reading this, I hope to gain some key insights and compare to what I've experienced growing up in poverty.

3 Reasons to Read

  • Learn about how scarcity affects our daily lives
  • Insights into scarcity of money, time, relationships, focus and more
  • Gain more awareness in switching from a scarcity to abundance mindset
Notes for this book are still being transcribed.
Follow @juvoni for more info. Send me your hidden gem book recommendations.
posted December 20, 2015

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