Academic journal article NBER Reporter

Richard Thaler Awarded Nobel for Research on Behavioral Economics

Academic journal article NBER Reporter

Richard Thaler Awarded Nobel for Research on Behavioral Economics

Article excerpt

Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, an NBER research associate for more than 25 years, was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his research in behavioral economics. The award was announced in October, and Thaler delivered his prize lecture, "From Cashews to Nudges: The Evolution of Behavioral Economics," on December 8 in Stockholm.

[Lecture slides]

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' announcement of the prize explains that Thaler "has incorporated psychologically realistic assumptions into analyses of economic decisionmaking. By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control, he has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes.

"His empirical findings and theoretical insights have been instrumental in creating the new and rapidly expanding field of behavioral economics, which has had a profound impact on many areas of economic research and policy."

The Academy cited many settings in which behavioral insights have enriched the research dialogue, including the study of household saving, the formation of prices in financial markets, the role of fairness in setting wages and prices, and the potential for "nudges" to influence consumer behavior. The Academy's description of the ways in which Thaler's work has been applied may be found here.

A longer summary of the scientific contributions that underlie this award may be found here. …

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