Boston Public Radio Podcast
3:54 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Nancy Koehn on Hunting and Gathering at the Mall

Mall of America
Credit By James Patterson via Wikimedia Commons

Today on Boston Public Radio's "Open Mic" the theme was about going back to basics. We started the conversation with a look at how today's post-manufacturing economy is making us live as if we're in a pre-industrial world.  With the job market being both sluggish and uniform throughout the US, we no longer have the means or motivation to uproot and relocate to another part of the country. And by staying put, we're seeing multigenerational housing on the rise, as kids, parents, and grandparents gather under one roof. 

After exploring how contemporary forces are driving us to tap into our  old fashioned ways, we inverted things with a look at what happens when we take our prehistoric  selves to the postmillennial mall. The New York times  points out that haggling  has made its way from the Grand Bazaar to places like Barney's. Harvard Business School historian  Nancy Koehn points out that the thrill that comes with  negotiating a bargain could be traced to our hardwired hunter-gatherer instincts.

To hear more of Koehn's insights on what happens when human nature intersects with the marketplace, listen here:

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