Avner Offer

in The Challenge of Affluence

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199216628
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191696015 | DOI:

Series: The Challenge of Affluence


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This chapter recapitulates the main points raised in the book, and some general implications and reflections. It presents a summary of findings arranged by chapter. It concludes by repeating a basic insight: affluence is a challenge because choice is fallible. Every choice affects the future, and it is difficult to bring objectives at different time ranges into agreement. To cope with choices, societies have evolved a variety of solutions which provide guidance about the right choices to make. But the flow of novelty under affluence undermines existing commitment conventions. It diverts attention to untested new rewards, and replaces working arrangements with untried ones. The challenge of affluence is coping with novelty. Novelty will continue, at an ever faster pace. Understanding this challenge is necessary to coping with it.

Keywords: freedom; well-being; choice; affluence; reward

Chapter.  6956 words. 

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