Albert Hirschman's framework of "Exit, Voice, and Loyalty" has been a topic of discussion here for years (see, for example, "Buzzfeed's Tax Credits" (2015), "AllianceBernstein Moves To Nashville" (2018), "Thoughts On The Brexit" (2016), "Amazon Tests Drones In Canada" (2015), and "De Blasio Shakes Down Collegiate" (2015)).
So it's neat to see this, in today's New York Times Book Review, from the Washington correspondent of the New York Times, Binyamin Appelbaum, as part of an ongoing feature in which New York Times reporters and editors share what books they are reading:
"I read plenty of leaden books about economics, so I take special delight in the exceptions — like EXIT, VOICE, AND LOYALTY, a sharp little piece of intellectual swordplay written way back in 1970 by the economist Albert O. Hirschman. The basic argument is that people with choices are less likely to seek improvements; they just head for the exits. Parents with money, for example, don't fight to improve urban schools; they move to the suburbs. From that simple model, however, Hirschman draws a host of surprising insights and implications. It's the kind of book that sheds new light on even the most familiar parts of life. My beloved Boston Red Sox won the World Series this fall, which meant my wife spent a lot of time wondering aloud why I care so much about a baseball team. Well, here's Hirschman's answer: 'Loyalty is at its most functional when it looks most irrational, when loyalty means strong attachment to an organization that does not seem to warrant such attachment because it is so much like another one that is also available.'"