This book presents an unorthodox identity economics that approaches social identity through a non-classical psychology. Garai applies the modern physics concept of wave-particle duality to economic psychology, finding a corresponding duality in object-oriented activity and historically generated social identity. These two factors interconnect to create a double-storied structure of social identity and its behavioral manifestations. The book then presents a calculation device for mediating between behavioral and identity economics. Garai then applies all these factors to two socioeconomic systems developed during the second modernization: Bolshevik-type “socialism” and post-Bolshevik “capitalism.” In this context, he examines the Eastern Bloc nomenklatura
as a duality of bureaucratic and patron-client organization (“state and party”) and the establishment of both today's material capitalism and its other half: human capital economics.
“Laszlo Garai's Reconsidering Identity Economics gives a new theory that intertwines people’s psychology and their economics: their psychology (and especially their identities) is the result of their economic environment; their economic environment is the result of their psychology. Garai illustrates this new view of economics and psychology with applications that are drawn from his lifelong experience and that will fascinate all readers.”
—George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001