Author(s): Richard H. Thaler
ECONOMIST, FINANCIAL TIMES and EVENING STANDARD BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015. Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award From the renowned and entertaining behavioural economist and co-author of the seminal work Nudge, Misbehaving is an irreverent and enlightening look into human foibles. Traditional economics assumes that rational forces shape everything. Behavioural economics knows better. Richard Thaler has spent his career studying the notion that humans are central to the economy - and that we're error-prone individuals, not Spock-like automatons. Now behavioural economics is hugely influential, changing the way we think not just about money, but about ourselves, our world and all kinds of everyday decisions. Whether buying an alarm clock, selling football tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words, we misbehave. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments. Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behaviour, Thaler enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioural economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV quiz shows, sports transfer seasons, and businesses like Uber. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.
Wildly disruptive -- Michael Lewis Bloomberg Gripping... a novelised intellectual history, replete with heroes and villains, triumphs and disasters, conflicts and comradeship... Thaler is a brilliant scholar, endlessly curious, empirically inclined and public spirited Guardian Misbehaving gives us the story behind some of the most important insights in modern economics. If I had to be trapped in an elevator with any contemporary intellectual, I'd pick Richard Thaler -- Malcolm Gladwell A long, genial, often humorous account of the progress of Behavioural Economics by one of its most gifted practitioners. Kahneman has described Thaler as lazy; he meant it as a compliment because Thaler's laziness means he concentrates only on the really important questions that get him out of bed in the morning... this is important stuff -- Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times Robust enough intellectually to be a serious work of social science and a proper record of an important intellectual movement, Misbehaving is also fun for the general reader... a good book about an important topic -- Daniel Finkelstein The Times Professor Thaler's entertaining book provides an important reminder of both the challenges and opportunities that come from working across the sometimes artificial boundaries between academic disciplines -- Jonathan A. Knee New York Times
Richard H. Thaler is the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics and the director of the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. He is the author of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness.