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Dale Coleman
Dale Coleman

An Introduction To Behavioral Economics

An Introduction To Behavioral Economics -

An Introduction To Behavioral Economics

The third edition of this successful textbook is a comprehensive, rigorous survey of the major topics in the field of behavioral economics. Building on the strengths of the second edition, it offers an up-to-date and critical examination of the latest literature, research, developments and debates in the field. Offering an inter-disciplinary approach, the authors incorporate psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience into the discussions. And, ultimately, they consider what it means to be 'rational', why we so often indulge in 'irrational' and self-harming behavior, and also why 'irrational' behavior can sometimes serve us well.A perfect book for economics students studying behavioural economics at higher undergraduate level or Master's level.This new edition features:- Extended material on heuristics and biases, and new material on neuroeconomics and its applications- A wealth of new topical case studies, such as voting behavior in Brexit and the Trump election and the current obesity epidemic- More examples and review questions to help cement understandingAccompanying online resources for this title can be found at These resources are designed to support teaching and learning when using this textbook and are available at no extra cost.

Behavioral economics combines elements of economics and psychology to understand how and why people behave the way they do in the real world. It differs from neoclassical economics, which assumes that most people have well-defined preferences and make well-informed, self-interested decisions based on those preferences.

By asking questions like these and identifying answers through experiments, the field of behavioral economics considers people as human beings who are subject to emotion and impulsivity, and who are influenced by their environments and circumstances.

Several principles have emerged from behavioral economics research that have helped economists better understand human economic behavior. From these principles, governments and businesses have developed policy frameworks to encourage people to make particular choices.

This classic example demonstrates that people are more willing to take a greater statistical risk if it means avoiding a $1,000 loss versus obtaining a $1,000 win, which contradicts expected utility theory. Prospect theory and other work by Tversky and Kahneman continues to inform many areas of behavioral economics research today.

In the 1980s, Richard Thaler began to build on the work of Tversky and Kahneman, with whom he collaborated extensively. Now the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the Booth School of Business, he is today considered a founder of the field of behavioral economics.

What is behavioral economics, and how does it relate to the work we do as business lawyers? In short, behavioral economics is the science of how people make decisions. By understanding the techniques people use to make their decisions, including those that cause us to occasionally make bad decisions, we can accomplish two things. First, we can help other people make better decisions (or perhaps, instead, make the decisions we want them to make). Second, we can better understand our own decision making processes and, with a more concrete understanding, improve them. Understanding decision making can improve our performance in a large number of arenas, but certainly assists in performing such tasks as negotiating deals, structuring contracts, or building compliance systems.

This article describes just four of many biases and heuristics identified by behavioral economists through empirical research. The planning fallacy, anchoring, the confirmation bias, and loss aversion strike familiar chords among experienced attorneys. But, behavioral economics provides more than vague concepts about behavior. Its resear


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