Richard H. Thaler

The University of Chicago


Election Year: 2018
Primary Section: 54, Economic Sciences
Secondary Section: 52, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

Richard H. Thaler is the Charles R Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, and Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Prior to coming to Chicago in 1995 he was a professor at Cornell’s Johnson School of Management. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  Professor Thaler's research lies in the gap between psychology and economics. He is considered a pioneer in the fields of behavioral economics and finance. He is the author of numerous academic articles and the books “The Winner's Curse,” “Nudge” (with Cass Sunstein) and “Misbehaving.” He is a contributor to the New York Times “Economic View” column that appears in the Sunday Business Section. In 2015 he served as President of the American Economic Association is a distinguished fellow of the American Finance Association, a fellow of the Econometric Society, and a member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

Research Interests

Richard H. Thaler has long been interested in the intersection of economics and psychology. His initial goal was to improve the descriptive accuracy of economic theory by enriching the model of human beings used in economic analyses. He has stressed that economic agents have limited cognitive abilities, suffer from self-control problems and other emotions, and are less self-interested than economists usually assume. He has used this approach to develop such concepts as mental accounting, choice architecture, and libertarian paternalism. He has studied a wide range to topics, from consumer choice to financial markets, to the National Football League player draft.  Since the publication of his book “Nudge,” in 2008, co-authored with Cass Sunstein, he has been increasingly interested in the application of behavioral economics to public policy problems such as increasing savings for retirement. 

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