Economics Nobel nudges economist Richard Thaler into limelight | Science News

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Economics Nobel nudges behavioral economist into the limelight

Richard Thaler is heralded for his work on the psychology of money decisions

5:45pm, October 9, 2017
Richard Thaler, University of Chicago

NUDGE MAN  Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago has received the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for research on pitfalls of economic decision making.

A founding father of behavioral economics — a research school that has popularized the practice of “nudging” people into making decisions that authorities deem to be in their best interests — has won the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Richard Thaler, of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, received the award October 9 for being the leader of a discipline that has championed the idea of humans not as purely rational and selfish — as long posited by economists. Instead, he argues, we are driven by simple, often emotionally fueled assumptions that can lead us astray.

“Richard Thaler has pioneered the analysis of ways in which human decisions systematically deviate from traditional economic models,” says cognitive scientist Peter Gӓrdenfors of Lund University, Sweden, a member of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee.

Thaler argues that, even if people try to make good economic choices, our

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