Friday, October 09, 2009

John Nist Nudges Behavioral Economics

The theory of games is not my field, but I appreciate many of the revelations of the games. What has always bothered me in a way I could not articulate was many of the accepted conclusions of behavioral economics. Enter John List, professor of economics, University of Chicago in this article by Tim Hartford: "How an inconvenient economist upset the cool crowd"

In the I should have known this category, consider this from the article: "List set up a baseball card trade to mimic the “gift exchange” game, and showed that baseball card traders behave just like laboratory subjects when they know they are in an experiment. But many traders didn’t know they were being watched, and they behaved far more selfishly.

So the universal result of the behavioralists that people are not rational is under attack and oddly that makes me smile.

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