Until Prof. Richard H. Thaler came along, economists resisted the idea of basing their models on how real people behave. The reality is people don’t always know what they want, much less what’s best for them.
In October, Thaler was honored with the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for his pioneering scholarship in the field of behavioral economics. On Dec. 8, the Chicago Booth scholar delivered his Nobel lecture in Stockholm as part of a weeklong celebration of the 2017 Nobel laureates. He will receive his Nobel Medal on Dec. 10 at a white-tie-and-tails affair at the Stockholm Concert Hall. (Live webcast begins at 7:30 a.m. CST here).
In his Nobel speech, entitled “From Cashews to Nudges: The Evolution of Behavioral Economics,” Thaler told stories of various field experiments in his everyday life—ranging from a dinner party as a graduate student in Rochester, N.Y. in the 1970s to the Swedish government’s present-day effort to get its citizens to sign up for retirement plans.