Richard Thaler, one of the fathers of behavioral economics and a professor at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, has won the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science.
From the article:
If irrational human behavior can be predicted, then it can be incited, or nudged. Thaler coined the term “nudging” to describe cheap and easy interventions that change people’s decision-making.
To his credit, Thaler has acknowledged that nudging is a weapon that can used both for good and bad.
In 2013, Robert Shiller won the Nobel in Economics for his work showing that markets are not rational and that their short-term gyrations are often driven by “animal spirits” that are more emotional than logical. Thaler did more than perhaps any other economists to devise a vocabulary for these animal spirits. While he is famous for exploding the myth of rational decision-making, the irony is that insisting that human beings are not rational is by far the more rational approach to studying their behavior.