Get ready to change the way you think about economics. Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans—predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth—and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world. Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments. Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber. Laced with antic stories of Thaler’s spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining. Shortlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Why are we more likely to forgo the opportunity to sell a £100 bottle of wine rather than actually taking money out our wallet to pay for it, when ultimately the 'opportunity cost' of doing so is the same? Why would the 'endowment effect' mean that we value a free ticket worth hundreds of pounds more than the money we would get from selling it? In this new, ambitious work, Thaler presents his findings in behavioural economics and breaks down the biases and irrational tendancies in our thinking, showing us how to avoid making costly mistakes in life.
This book offers a definitive and wide-ranging overview of developments in behavioral finance over the past ten years. In 1993, the first volume provided the standard reference to this new approach in finance--an approach that, as editor Richard Thaler put it, "entertains the possibility that some of the agents in the economy behave less than fully rationally some of the time." Much has changed since then. Not least, the bursting of the Internet bubble and the subsequent market decline further demonstrated that financial markets often fail to behave as they would if trading were truly dominated by the fully rational investors who populate financial theories. Behavioral finance has made an indelible mark on areas from asset pricing to individual investor behavior to corporate finance, and continues to see exciting empirical and theoretical advances. Advances in Behavioral Finance, Volume II constitutes the essential new resource in the field. It presents twenty recent papers by leading specialists that illustrate the abiding power of behavioral finance--of how specific departures from fully rational decision making by individual market agents can provide explanations of otherwise puzzling market phenomena. As with the first volume, it reaches beyond the world of finance to suggest, powerfully, the importance of pursuing behavioral approaches to other areas of economic life. The contributors are Brad M. Barber, Nicholas Barberis, Shlomo Benartzi, John Y. Campbell, Emil M. Dabora, Daniel Kent, François Degeorge, Kenneth A. Froot, J. B. Heaton, David Hirshleifer, Harrison Hong, Ming Huang, Narasimhan Jegadeesh, Josef Lakonishok, Owen A. Lamont, Roni Michaely, Terrance Odean, Jayendu Patel, Tano Santos, Andrei Shleifer, Robert J. Shiller, Jeremy C. Stein, Avanidhar Subrahmanyam, Richard H. Thaler, Sheridan Titman, Robert W. Vishny, Kent L. Womack, and Richard Zeckhauser.
With a foreword by Richard Thaler, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics 2017! Dr David Halpern, behavioural scientist and head of Number 10's Behavioural Insights Team, or the 'Nudge Unit', invites you inside the unconventional, multi-million pound saving initiative that makes a big difference through influencing small, simple changes in our behaviour. Using the application of psychology to the challenges we face in the world today, the Nudge Unit is pushing us in the right direction. This is their story.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Business & Economics
A Course in Behavioral Economics is a concise and reader-friendly introduction to one of the most influential areas of economics today. Covering all core areas of the subject, the book requires no advanced mathematics and is full of examples, exercises, and problems drawn from the fields of economics, management, marketing, political science, and public policy, among others. It is an ideal first textbook for students coming to behavioral economics from a wide range of disciplines, and would also appeal to the general reader looking for a thorough and readable introduction to the subject. Available to lecturers: access to an Instructor's Manual at www.palgrave.com/economics/angner, containing a sample syllabus, instructor guide, sample handouts and examinations, and PowerPoint slides.
The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. New York Times best-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance--he is probably the only person to have predicted both the stock market bubble of 2000 and the real estate bubble that led up to the subprime mortgage meltdown. But in this important and timely book, Shiller argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a powerful case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being. We need more financial innovation--not less--and finance should play a larger role in helping society achieve its goals. Challenging the public and its leaders to rethink finance and its role in society, Shiller argues that finance should be defined not merely as the manipulation of money or the management of risk but as the stewardship of society's assets. He explains how people in financial careers--from CEO, investment manager, and banker to insurer, lawyer, and regulator--can and do manage, protect, and increase these assets. He describes how finance has historically contributed to the good of society through inventions such as insurance, mortgages, savings accounts, and pensions, and argues that we need to envision new ways to rechannel financial creativity to benefit society as a whole. Ultimately, Shiller shows how society can once again harness the power of finance for the greater good.
Richard Thaler challenges the received economic wisdom by revealing many of the paradoxes that abound even in the most painstakingly constructed transactions. He presents literate, challenging, and often funny examples of such anomalies as why the winners at auctions are often the real losers—they pay too much and suffer the "winner's curse"—why gamblers bet on long shots at the end of a losing day, why shoppers will save on one appliance only to pass up the identical savings on another, and why sports fans who wouldn't pay more than $200 for a Super Bowl ticket wouldn't sell one they own for less than $400. He also demonstrates that markets do not always operate with the traplike efficiency we impute to them.
This book presents a history of behavioral economics. The recurring theme is that behavioral economics reflects and contributes to a fundamental reorientation of the epistemological foundations upon which economics had been based since the days of Smith, Ricardo, and Mill. With behavioral economics, the discipline has shifted from grounding its theories in generalized characterizations to building theories from behavioral assumptions directly amenable to empirical validation and refutation. The book proceeds chronologically and takes the reader from von Neumann and Morgenstern's axioms of rational behavior, through the incorporation of rational decision theory in psychology in the 1950s–70s, to the creation and rise of behavioral economics in the 1980s and 1990s at the Sloan and Russell Sage Foundations.
What is economic growth? And why, historically, has it occurred in only a few places? Previous efforts to answer these questions have focused on institutions, geography, finances, and psychology. But according to MIT’s antidisciplinarian César Hidalgo, understanding the nature of economic growth demands transcending the social sciences and including the natural sciences of information, networks, and complexity. To understand the growth of economies, Hidalgo argues, we first need to understand the growth of order. At first glance, the universe seems hostile to order. Thermodynamics dictates that over time, order—or information—disappears. Whispers vanish in the wind just like the beauty of swirling cigarette smoke collapses into disorderly clouds. But thermodynamics also has loopholes that promote the growth of information in pockets. Although cities are all pockets where information grows, they are not all the same. For every Silicon Valley, Tokyo, and Paris, there are dozens of places with economies that accomplish little more than pulling rocks out of the ground. So, why does the US economy outstrip Brazil’s, and Brazil’s that of Chad? Why did the technology corridor along Boston’s Route 128 languish while Silicon Valley blossomed? In each case, the key is how people, firms, and the networks they form make use of information. Seen from Hidalgo’s vantage, economies become distributed computers, made of networks of people, and the problem of economic development becomes the problem of making these computers more powerful. By uncovering the mechanisms that enable the growth of information in nature and society, Why Information Grows lays bear the origins of physical order and economic growth. Situated at the nexus of information theory, physics, sociology, and economics, this book propounds a new theory of how economies can do not just more things, but more interesting things.
This collection challenges the popular but abstract concept of nudging, demonstrating the real-world application of behavioral economics in policy-making and technology. Groundbreaking and practical, it considers the existing political incentives and regulatory institutions that shape the environment in which behavioral policy-making occurs, as well as alternatives to government nudges already provided by the market. The contributions discuss the use of regulations and technology to help consumers overcome their behavioral biases and make better choices, considering the ethical questions of government and market nudges and the uncertainty inherent in designing effective nudges. Four case studies - on weight loss, energy efficiency, consumer finance, and health care - put the discussion of the efficiency of nudges into concrete, recognizable terms. A must-read for researchers studying the public policy applications of behavioral economics, this book will also appeal to practicing lawmakers and regulators.
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Business & Economics
The third edition of this successful textbook introduces students to behavioral economics. It offers a critical examination of the latest literature, research, developments and debates in the field by discussing topics such as evolutionary psychology and neuroscience. Contains a wealth of case studies, examples and review questions.
Over the last few decades behavioral economics has revolutionized the discipline. It has done so by putting the human back into economics, by recognizing that people sometimes make mistakes, care about others and are generally not as cold and calculating as economists have traditionally assumed. The results have been exciting and fascinating, and have fundamentally changed the way we look at economic behavior. This textbook introduces all the key results and insights of behavioral economics to a student audience. Ideas such as mental accounting, prospect theory, present bias, inequality aversion and learning are explained in detail. These ideas are also applied in diverse settings such as auctions, stock market crashes, charitable donations and health care, to show why behavioral economics is crucial to understanding the world around us. Consideration is also given to what makes people happy, and how we can potentially nudge people to be happier. This new edition contains expanded and updated coverage of contract theory, bargaining in the family, time and risk, and stochastic reference points, among other topics, to ensure that readers are kept up to speed with this fast-paced field. The companion website is also updated with a range of new questions and worked examples. This book remains the ideal introduction to behavioral economics for advanced undergraduate and graduate students.
How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives
Author: Shankar Vedantam
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Category: Social Science
The hidden brain is the voice in our ear when we make the most important decisions in our lives—but we’re never aware of it. The hidden brain decides whom we fall in love with and whom we hate. It tells us to vote for the white candidate and convict the dark-skinned defendant, to hire the thin woman but pay her less than the man doing the same job. It can direct us to safety when disaster strikes and move us to extraordinary acts of altruism. But it can also be manipulated to turn an ordinary person into a suicide terrorist or a group of bystanders into a mob. In a series of compulsively readable narratives, Shankar Vedantam journeys through the latest discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral science to uncover the darkest corner of our minds and its decisive impact on the choices we make as individuals and as a society. Filled with fascinating characters, dramatic storytelling, and cutting-edge science, this is an engrossing exploration of the secrets our brains keep from us—and how they are revealed.
Standard economics theory is built on the assumption that human beings act rationally in their own self interest. But if rationality is such a reliable factor, why do economic models so often fail to predict market behavior accurately? According to Richard Thaler, the shortcomings of the standard approach arise from its failure to take into account systematic mental biases that color all human judgments and decisions.
Traditionally economists have based their economic predictions on the assumption that humans are super-rational creatures, using the information we are given efficiently and generally making selfish decisions that work well for us as individuals. Economists also assume that we're doing thevery best we can possibly do - not only for today, but over our whole lifetimes too. But increasingly the study of behavioural economics is revealing that our lives are not that simple. Instead, our decisions are complicated by our own psychology. Each of us makes mistakes every day. We don't alwaysknow what's best for us and, even if we do, we might not have the self-control to deliver on our best intentions. We struggle to stay on diets, to get enough exercise and to manage our money. We misjudge risky situations. We are prone to herding: sometimes peer pressure leads us blindly to copyothers around us; other times copying others helps us to learn quickly about new, unfamiliar situations. This Very Short Introduction explores the reasons why we make irrational decisions; how we decide quickly; why we make mistakes in risky situations; our tendency to procrastination; and how we are affected by social influences, personality, mood and emotions. The implications of understanding therationale for our own financial behaviour are huge. Behavioural economics could help policy-makers to understand the people behind their policies, enabling them to design more effective policies, while at the same time we could find ourselves assaulted by increasingly savvy marketing. MichelleBaddeley concludes by looking forward, to see what the future of behavioural economics holds for us.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
An Introduction to the Work of a Maverick Economist
Author: L. Randall Wray
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Business & Economics
Perhaps no economist was more vindicated by the global financial crisis than Hyman P. Minsky (1919–96). Although a handful of economists raised alarms as early as 2000, Minsky's warnings began a half-century earlier, with writings that set out a compelling theory of financial instability. Yet even today he remains largely outside mainstream economics; few people have a good grasp of his writings, and fewer still understand their full importance. Why Minsky Matters makes the maverick economist’s critically valuable insights accessible to general readers for the first time. L. Randall Wray shows that by understanding Minsky we will not only see the next crisis coming but we might be able to act quickly enough to prevent it. As Wray explains, Minsky’s most important idea is that "stability is destabilizing": to the degree that the economy achieves what looks to be robust and stable growth, it is setting up the conditions in which a crash becomes ever more likely. Before the financial crisis, mainstream economists pointed to much evidence that the economy was more stable, but their predictions were completely wrong because they disregarded Minsky’s insight. Wray also introduces Minsky’s significant work on money and banking, poverty and unemployment, and the evolution of capitalism, as well as his proposals for reforming the financial system and promoting economic stability. A much-needed introduction to an economist whose ideas are more relevant than ever, Why Minsky Matters is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why economic crises are becoming more frequent and severe—and what we can do about it.