Everyone misbehaves

Monday’s announcement of the 2017 Nobel Prize for economics, to Richard Thaler, for his groundbreaking work incorporating psychology into economic theory, was a victory not only for the University of Chicago Professor and co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, but for behaviorally-informed policy worldwide.

Daniel Kahneman’s research (with Amos Tversky) into judgement and decision making won him the Prize in 2002. If the 2002 Nobel Prize was for behavioral economics, or the use of psychology in economic theory and research, one might say that this year’s 2017 award is for behavioral public policy. Thaler’s body of work extended Tversky and Kahneman’s, but as notably, it extended that work into policy making. Thanks to Thaler, behavioral economics has become useful for everyone. As one writer put it, “We are all behavioral economists now.” — blog.wb.org/blogs