The Voltage Effect

Be it a medical breakthrough, a policy initiative, a product innovation, or a social movement, translating an idea into widespread impact depends on one thing only: whether it can be replicated at scale.

“Scale” has become a favored buzzword in the startup world. But scale isn’t just about accumulating more users or capturing more market share. It’s about whether an idea that takes hold in a small group can do the same in a much larger one. Scalability is critical to everything from expanding a small business, to narrowing the national achievement gap, to delivering billions of doses of a vaccine, to making a new technology widely affordable—and much more.


Order Now



Micro lessons: John List and Steven Levitt create a bite-sized version of their College econ course

People give for a selfish reason—to feel good: Luis Miranda, Nimisha Pathak

The Pie: What Drives Racial Differences in Speeding Tickets and Fines?

The Voltage Effect on UCLA Anderson Forecast Direct

Washington Examiner: A new finding that smart thermostats may not save energy at scale

The Voltage Effect on “Your Money with Michelle Martin”

The Daily Iowan Ask the Author: John A. List

311: Walmart’s Chief Economist on Inflation, War and What It Takes to Scale a Business

Wisconsin Public Radio: How to expand our good ideas onto a large scale

The Business of Government Hour Podcast: Conversation with Prof. John List

Next Big Idea Club – The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale

WSJ – ‘The Voltage Effect’ Review: Do We Have a Winner?

Why So Many Clever Pilot Programs Flunk Out at Scale

Family Action Network: The Voltage Effect

Big Think: Three cognitive biases that allow bad ideas to scale

The Voltage Effect on WGN News

FT business books: February edition

Why this 1990s McDonalds burger showed promise of being a wild success — but flopped

Center for Global Development: Scaling Programs Effectively: Two New Books on Potential Pitfalls and the Tools to Avoid Them

Guy Kawasaki: Remarkable People

Why Olympic Bronze Medalists Are Happier Than Silver Medalists

WBBM NEWSRADIO – The Voltage Effect: New book examines the benefits of quitting

“The Decision Lab” Podcast: The Voltage Effect with John List

NPR: Five vital signs for scaling your big idea

The Brainy Business Podcast: The Voltage Effect

Economics to “scale” ideas by practicing with Uber and global warming gas reduction

How to Scale Your Story? ft. a Chief Economist at Lyft

John List on The Tim Ferriss Show