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  Life   More Features  09 Oct 2017  Nobel Prize for Economics goes to Richard H Thaler

Nobel Prize for Economics goes to Richard H Thaler

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Oct 9, 2017, 3:24 pm IST
Updated : Oct 9, 2017, 4:44 pm IST

The Nobel committee said Thaler's work shows how human traits affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes.

The Economic Nobel, last of the Nobel prizes to be awarded this year, went to Richard H. Thaler (Photo: AP)
 The Economic Nobel, last of the Nobel prizes to be awarded this year, went to Richard H. Thaler (Photo: AP)

The Economic Nobel, last of the Nobel prizes to be awarded this year, went to Richard H. Thaler for his work "on understanding the psychology of economy. "

The Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish National Bank) Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was first awarded in 1969

Thaler who is from the University of Chicago was awarded the prize for his contributions to behavourial economics.

Speaking about his win, the award giving body said, ""His empirical findings and theoretical insights have been instrumental in creating the new and rapidly expanding field of behavioural economics, which has had a profound impact on many areas of economic research and policy."

The decision making body further added,

The Nobel Committee further added, "Richard H. Thaler demonstrated how nudging – a term he coined – may help people exercise better self-control e.g. when saving for a pension."

Speaking by phone to a news conference immediately after he was announced as the prize winner, Thaler said the most important impact of his work is "the recognition that economic agents are humans" and money decisions are not made strictly rationally.
Thaler told the news conference that he will likely use the prize money in ways consistent with his research.

"I will say that I will try to spend it as irrationally as possible," he said.
Outside of academia, Thaler has made a cameo in the movie "The Big Short" to discuss an economic phenomenon known as the "hot hand fallacy" - in which a person's success is seen as a sign he would be successful in other fields - with pop star Selena Gomez.

Asked at the news conference if he thought this observation applied to the U.S president, he said: "As to President Trump, I think he would do well to watch that movie."

Interestingly, the last of the Nobel prizes awarded this year was something of an outlier - Alfred Nobel's will didn't call for its establishment and it honors a science that many doubt is a science at all.

The Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish National Bank) Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was first awarded in 1969, nearly seven decades after the series of prestigious prizes that Nobel called for.

Despite its provenance and carefully laborious name, it is broadly considered an equal to the other Nobel and the winner attends the famed presentation banquet.

Tags: nobel, economics, nobel prize 2017