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Quasi Rational Economics Paperback – January 4, 1994

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Standard economics theory is built on the assumption that human beings act rationally in their own s....

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 389 pages
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation Publications; Revised edition (January 4, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087154847X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871548474
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,338,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard H. Thaler is the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business where he director of the Center for Decision Research. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research where he co-directs the behavioral economics project. 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 articles and the books Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics; Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness (with Cass Sunstein), The Winner's Curse, and Quasi Rational Economics and was the editor of the collections: Advances in Behavioral Finance, Volumes 1 and 2. He also wrote a series of articles in the Journal of Economics Perspectives called: "Anomalies". He is one of the rotating team of economists who write the Economic View column in the Sunday New York Times.

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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Bainbridge on November 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
As with any model claiming predictive power, economics rests on a theory of human behavior-specifically, rational choice theory, which posits decisionmakers who are autonomous individuals who make rational choices that maximize their satisfactions. Critics of economics have long complained that rational choice is, at best, an incomplete account of human behavior. The traditional response to that criticism is that rationality is simply an abstraction developed as a useful model of predicting the behavior of large numbers of people and, as such, does not purport to describe real people embedded in a real social order. A theory is properly judged by its predictive power with respect to the phenomena it purports to explain, not by whether it is a valid description of an objective reality. Accordingly, the relevant question to ask about the assumptions of a theory is not whether they are descriptively realistic, for they never are, but whether they are sufficiently good approximations for the purpose in hand. Until quite recently, empirical research tended to confirm that the rational choice model of human behavior is a good first approximation of how large numbers of people are likely to behave in exchange transactions.
Over the last 10-15 years, however, a new school of economic analysis has emerged that challenges the rational choice model precisely on its predictive power. Empirical and laboratory work by cognitive psychologists and experimental economists has identified a growing number of anomalies in which behavior appears to systematically depart from that predicted by rational choice. The extent to which behavioral economics calls into question more traditional modes of economic analysis remains sharply contested.
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