Real-world Endowment

One of economists’ common critiques of the study of behavioral economics is the reliance on college students as a subject pool. The argument is that this population’s lack of real-world experience (like paying taxes, investing in stock, buying a house) makes them…

Swiss Army People

Plato once said that people are like dirt. They can nourish you or stunt your growth.  This seems sage and reasonable, but I think people are more like Swiss Army knives (To be fair, Plato did not have the benefit of knowing…

Turning the Tables: FDR, Tom Sawyer, and me

Before television and the internet, political candidates had two primary means of getting their image out into the public: live appearances and campaign posters. And given the limited reach of the former, posters were a crucial element in political strategy. How else…

A gentler and more logical economics

(this one is a bit long) Neoclassical economics is built on very strong assumptions that, over time, have become “established facts.” Most famous among these are that all economic agents (consumers, companies, etc., are fully rational, and that the so-called invisible hand…

Three questions on Behavioral Economics

1.) What is behavioral economics? How is it different from standard economics? In general, both standard and behavioral economics are interested in the same questions and topics.  The choices people make, the effects on incentives, the role of information etc. However, unlike…