Cover image for Effort, opportunity, and wealth
Effort, opportunity, and wealth
Simon, Julian Lincoln, 1932-1998.
Publication Information:
Oxford [Oxfordshire], UK ; New York, NY, USA : B. Blackwell, 1987.
Physical Description:
x, 198 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :

On Order

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Simon (University of Maryland) proposes that effort put forth by a worker is directly related to the (perceived) opportunities for financial reward and inversely related to the worker's wealth (i.e., already accumulated money and assets). This observation is hardly news in the non-Marxist world. Simon formalizes (somewhat) this insight into a Drive-Effort hypothesis, then uses it to ``explain'' dozens of examples which he correctly and unabashedly describes as ``anecdotal and introspective reports of effort variation.'' Clearly distinct from the traditional work-leisure choice well known in economics, Simon rediscovers a third dimension (effort) that has been labeled ``motivation'' in the industrial policies on wages and rewards to laborers. The examples are wide ranging and imaginative (Venice and Marco Polo to General Motors and the idle rich); the style is engaging. The topic (how to stimulate productivity) is enormously important, and Simon raises the issue without invoking derivatives or regressions or for that matter without providing much analysis, data, techniques, or conclusions. Nevertheless, a fun book to read. Undergraduate and general audiences.-R.A. Miller, Wesleyan University