Summary of Misbehaving
The Making of Behavioral Economics
Making economic models more mathematical failed to make them more reliable. They need a human touch.
Economics is as mathematical as ever, and it remains rife with unrealistic expectations about human behavior. For theoretical convenience, economists assume that everyone behaves rationally and makes the best possible choices at all times. But, says economist and Nudge co-author Richard H. Thaler, real human beings act in predictably irrational ways. He argues convincingly – and with no shortage of witty anecdotes and all-too-human stories of his own battles with economics orthodoxy – that a dose of behavioral science could produce better economic forecasts, lead to improved public policies and give the dismal science a much-needed human touch. getAbstract recommends this captivating treatise to readers familiar with economics and interested in the evolution of its behavioral aspects.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why economics’ basic assumptions are often unrealistic and unreliable,
- What types of human behavior amount to “misbehaving” in economic models, and
- How greater use of behavioral economics in public policy could “nudge” people to make better choices.
About the Author
Richard H. Thaler, the American Economic Association’s 2015 president, is a professor of behavioral science and economics at the University of Chicago. He co-wrote the bestseller Nudge.
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