Richard Zeckhauser

Richard Zeckhauser is Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

  • Strategy and Choice

    Strategy and Choice

    Richard Zeckhauser

    These essays by well-known scholars present the most significant recent advances in strategic choice theory.

    From the coalition's desert showdown with Saddam Hussein to the dieter's duel with himself in the midnight kitchen, strategic choices determine destinies. These essays by wellknown scholars - economists, psychologists, philosophers, and political scientists, inspired by master strategist Thomas Schelling - present the most significant recent advances in strategic choice theory. In activities ranging from gift giving to political wheeling and dealing, men and women strive ingeniously - though sometimes counterproductively - to secure desired outcomes. But as this book makes clear' the fundamental questions for strategy continually reappear: What factors motivate individuals' values and actions? What principles guide effective bargaining? How can incentives and decision processes be structured to yield desirable collective outcomes? In three parts, the book addresses many-player, fewplayer, and one-player situations. The first takes up questions such as: What outcomes result when an individual's welfare depends on comparisons with the situation of others? Under what circumstances do we expect many-player outcomes to at least resemble participants' desired outcomes? The second asks how we can build trust, distinguish between gifts and bribes, make commitments credible, or employ third parties to improve our bargaining position. The final part of the book focuses on the struggle of the individual decision maker. How does the recollected past influence one's evaluation of the present? How can we cope with errors in decision making? When should we rely on rules and principles, as opposed to the careful weighing of alternatives prescribed by the theory of rational choice? And - the most ethically challenging question - how shall we value human life?

    ContributorsVincent P. Crawford, Avinash Dixit, Jon Elster, Robert H. Frank, Jerry R. Green, Dale Griffin, Russell Hardin, Richard J. Herrnstein, Robert Jervis, Robert Klitgaard, Howard Margolis, Barry Nalebuff, Mancur Olson, Drazen Prelec, Howard Raiffa, Amos Tversky, W. Kip Viscusi, Richard Zeckhauser

    • Hardcover $15.75
    • Paperback $35.00

Contributor

  • New Directions in Financial Services Regulation

    New Directions in Financial Services Regulation

    Roger B. Porter, Robert R. Glauber, and Thomas J. Healey

    Prominent policy makers, practitioners, and scholars discuss regulatory reform in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008.

    The financial crisis of 2008 raised crucial questions regarding the effectiveness of the way the United States regulates financial markets. What caused the crisis? What regulatory changes are most needed and desirable? What regulatory structure will best implement the desired changes? This volume addresses those questions with contributions from an ideologically diverse group of scholars, policy makers, and practitioners, including Paul Volcker, John Taylor, Richard Posner, and R. Glenn Hubbard. New Directions in Financial Services Regulation grows out of a conference hosted by the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in October 2009, and the book reflects the dynamic give-and-take of the event. Each part of the book includes not only major papers and presentations but also a summary of the subsequent discussion. The book achieves a balance of academic and practitioner perspectives, with leaders of financial firms and regulatory bodies offering insights based on their experiences in the financial crisis of the year before.

    • Hardcover $40.00
  • The Natural Resources Trap

    The Natural Resources Trap

    Private Investment without Public Commitment

    William Hogan and Federico Sturzenegger

    Experts discuss the contractual instability resulting from commodity price volatility and its effect on private investment and public involvement.

    Volatility in commodity prices has been accompanied by perpetual renegotiation of contracts between private investors in natural resource production and the governments of states with mineral and energy wealth. When prices skyrocket, governments want a larger share of revenues, sometimes to the point of nationalization or expropriation; when prices fall, larger state participation becomes a burden and the private sector is called back in. Recent and newsworthy changes in the price of oil (which fell from an all-time high of $147 in mid-2008 to $40 by year's end) are notable for their speed and the steepness of their rise and fall, but the up-and-down pattern itself is not unusual. If the unpredictability of commodity prices is so predictable, why do contracts not allow for this with mechanisms that would provide a more stable commercial framework?

    In The Natural Resources Trap, top scholars address this question in terms of both theory and practice. Theoretical contributions range across a number of fields, from contract theory to public finance, and treat topics that include taxation, royalties, and expropriation cycles. Case studies examine experiences in the U.K., Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, and other parts of the world.

    ContributorsPhilippe Aghion, George-Marios Angeletos, Fernando Candia Castillo, Rafael di Tella, Juan Dubra, Eduardo Engel, Ramón Espinasa, Ronald Fischer, Jeffrey Frankel, Nicolás Gadano, Dieter Helm, William Hogan, Robert MacCulloch, Osmel Manzano, Francisco Monaldi, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, Erich Muehlegger, Fernando Navajas, Robert Pindyck, Lucía Quesada, Roberto Rigobon, Eduardo S. Schwartz, Federico Sturzenegger, Lawrence Summers, Laurence Tai, Michael Tomz, Anders B. Trolle, Louis T. Wells, Nils Wernerfelt, Mark L. J. Wright, Richard Zeckhauser, Jeromin Zettelmeyer

    • Hardcover $45.00