Summary of “The Flaws a Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Wants You to Know About Yourself”

Dominant economic theory these days often makes that assumption.
What was left of this illusion was further dismantled by the The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, who awarded the Nobel prize in economics to Richard Thaler, an American economist at the University of Chicago, for his pioneering work in behavioral economics, which examines humanity’s flaws-namely, why we don’t make rational economic decisions.
In 2014, a study by the Economic & Social Research Council found that 51 countries had developed centralized policy units influenced by behavioral sciences.
These flaws-or human traits, to be more charitable-may not seem unusual, but Thaler argues that appreciating the implications of human behavior has lost its importance in dominant economic theory.
As the field relied more and more on mathematics, there was a push to explain the world using rigid, complex economic models.
In a paper last year, Thaler wrote: “It is time stop thinking about behavioral economics as some kind of revolution. Rather, behavioral economics should be considered simply a return to the kind of open-minded, intuitively motivated discipline that was invented by Adam Smith and augmented by increasingly powerful statistical tools and datasets.”
Today, behavioral economics is still considered a somewhat separate subject within the broader discipline.
If Thaler has it his way, the field of study that just won him a Nobel prize won’t exist for long: “If economics does develop along these lines the term ‘behavioral economics’ will eventually disappear from our lexicon. All economics will be as behavioral as the topic requires.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How We Nudged Employees to Embrace Flexible Work”

Globally, many leading organizations have introduced workplace policies to enable flexible work, recognizing its benefits for staff retention, morale, commitment, diversity, recruitment, and being an employer of choice.
Organizational culture is often resistant to change, so even after the introduction of a flexible work policy like allowing staff to arrive and depart within “Broadband” hours, there can still be a strong 9-to-5 culture.
Employee views are reinforced by the example set by managers, many of whom do not work flexibly.
Drawing on these findings, we wanted to see if behavioral economics could be used to encourage people to work more flexibly, especially to commute outside of peak hours.
Intervention #2: Prompting managers to discuss and model flexible working.
We encouraged them to both model flexible working and have an open conversation with their teams about how it could work for them.
Teams could win points for arriving or leaving out of peak times as well as for often-devalued forms of flexible working, such as part-time work or working from home.
This result reinforces the role that promoting flexible work policies can help manage transport demand.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Behavioral economics: The flaws that Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler wants you to know about yourself”

Awarded the Nobel prize in economics to Richard Thaler.
An American economist at the University of Chicago, for his pioneering work in behavioral economics, which examines humanity’s flaws-namely, why we don’t make rational economic decisions.
People can make bad economic choices based on something Thaler dubbed the “Endowment effect,” which is the theory that people value things more highly when they own them.
By the Economic & Social Research Council found that 51 countries had developed centralized policy units influenced by behavioral sciences.
In the UK, a national scheme to automatically enroll people in a personal savings plan had an opt-out rate of just 12%. These flaws-or human traits, to be more charitable-may not seem unusual, but Thaler argues that appreciating the implications of human behavior has lost its importance in dominant economic theory.
Thaler wrote: “It is time stop thinking about behavioral economics as some kind of revolution. Rather, behavioral economics should be considered simply a return to the kind of open-minded, intuitively motivated discipline that was invented by Adam Smith and augmented by increasingly powerful statistical tools and datasets.”
Today, behavioral economics is still considered a somewhat separate subject within the broader discipline.
If Thaler has it his way, the field of study that just won him a Nobel prize won’t exist for long: “If economics does develop along these lines the term ‘behavioral economics’ will eventually disappear from our lexicon. All economics will be as. behavioral as the topic requires.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Nobel in Economics Is Awarded to Richard Thaler”

The economics prize was established in 1968 in memory of Alfred Nobel by Sweden’s central bank and is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Another behavioral economist, Robert J. Shiller, who was among the winners in 2013, hailed Professor Thaler on Monday as “One of the most creative spirits in modern economics.”
Professor Thaler has played a central role in pushing economists away from that assumption.
“Thaler more than anyone has disciplined the idea of animal spirits,” said Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor who wrote “Nudge” with Professor Thaler.
Professor Thaler, 72, was born in East Orange, N.J., and graduated from Case Western Reserve University before earning a doctorate in economics at the University of Rochester in 1974.
Professor Thaler became their collaborator and played a central role in bringing the work into the economic mainstream.
In 1995, Professor Thaler joined the faculty at the University of Chicago, the institution most associated with a rationalist approach to economics.
In a presidential address to the American Economic Association in January 2016, Professor Thaler predicted behavioral economics would succeed so well it would eventually disappear.

The orginal article.