Albert O. Hirschman Quotes

Best 6 Quotes by Albert O. Hirschman

“History is nothing if not far-fetched.”

“In countries vulnerable for brain drain, loyalty or patriotism is often the only thing that can make people stay or draw them back.”

“People undertake some new task not because of a challenge, but because of the assumed absence of a challenge because the task looks easy and then, once they are stuck with it, they have willy-nilly to overcome the unsuspected difficulties — and sometimes they even succeed.”

Development Projects Observed Quotes

“Creativity always comes as a surprise to us; therefore we can never count on it and we dare not believe in it until it has happened. In other words, we would not consciously engage upon tasks whose success clearly requires that creativity be forthcoming. Hence, the only way in which we can bring our creative resources fully into play is by misjudging the nature of the task, by presenting it to ourselves as more routine, simple, undemanding of genuine creativity than it will turn out to be. Or, put differently: since we necessarily underestimate our creativity, it is desirable that we underestimate to a roughly similar extent the difficulties of the tasks we face so as to be tricked by these two offsetting underestimates into undertaking tasks that we can, but otherwise would not dare, tackle. The principle is important enough to deserve a name: since we are apparently on the trail here of some sort of invisible or hidden hand that beneficially hides difficulties from us, I propose the Hiding Hand.”

Development Projects Observed

“In certain societies there is a systematic underestimate of one's own creativity.”

Development Projects Observed

“In real-life situations, however, risks frequently increase without any corresponding increase in the payoff.”

Development Projects Observed

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“Be extra, extra cautious about this: don’t let negative thinking people – “negators” – destroy your plan to think yourself to success. Negators are everywhere and they seem to delight in sabotaging the positive progress of others.”

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