Thaler has made Behavioral Economics more applicable and policy-relevant

2017-12-05

Professor Richard H. Thaler of University of Chicago receives the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017.

Thaler's research has been crucial for the emergence of Behavioral Economics, a research field studying economic decision-making.

Thaler became known to a wider public in connection with the book Nudge, which he co-authored with colleague Cass Sunstein. In the book, they argue that insights from behavioral economics can be used to help people make decisions that are better for themselves - without affecting their choices. An approach that has been called liberal paternalism. An example of such a nudging is to have a well-considered default option in the premium pension system. For those who do not want to or do not know how to place their pension funds the default option places their shares in a fund recommended by experts.

"Thaler receives the award for his ground-breaking achievements to behavioral economics. With his studies he has, among other things, contributed to make behavioral economic more applicable and policy-relevant, says Mikael Elinder, Associate Professor at the Department of Economics.

Richard H. Thaler, born 1945 (72 years) in East Orange, NJ, USA. Phil. 1974, University of Rochester, NY, USA. Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioural Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, IL, USA.

Read the full popular science presentation from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences here

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