Allison SchragerApr 9, 2019
An Economist Walks Into A Brothel
And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk
Whether you are a commuter weighing options of taking the bus vs walking to get you to work on time or a military general leading troops into war, risk is something we deal with every day. Even the most cautious of us can’t opt out—the question is always which risks to take to maximize our results. But how do we know which path is correct? Enter Allison Schrager. Schrager is not a typical economist. Like others, she has spent her career assessing risk, but instead of crunching numbers or sitting at a desk, she chose to venture out. Now, she travels to unexpected places to uncover how financial principles can be used to navigate hazards and prevent danger. In her new book An Economist Walks Into A Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk (Portfolio, 2019), Schrager puts together a five-pronged approach for understanding and assessing risk. First, she helps define what risk and reward mean for individuals. Then, taking into account irrationality and uncertainty, Schrager helps readers master their domains and ultimately get the biggest bang for what she calls the “risk buck.” While there are certain factors that cannot be predicted, An Economist Walks Into A Brothel marries financial economics with real life examples to provide a road map, offer concrete advice, and maximize payoff.