Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States

Albert O. Hirschman

Book cover

This little book has been on my to-read list for a while, but I was finally prompted to pick it up by the recent death of Albert Hirschman. I’m very glad I did. The concepts of “exit” and “voice” have percolated into culture enough that I went into the book kind of feeling like I already knew what it was about, and in a sense I did. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed reading it. Hirschman is a supremely clear thinker and writer. When he makes an argument, he usually refrains from employing equations, but his exposition is so clear that I can tell he could write out the equations if he wanted to (and he sometimes does, in the appendix), and I can see the outlines of them myself.

I strongly recommended this book to Elise because, even though it was written quite some time ago, it has many direct application to current debates over public education, many of which Hirschman even discusses explicitly. I imagine almost anyone would find applications to their lives or their areas of interest.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars