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Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

Misbehaving is an arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth and change the way people think about economics. Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Misbehaving enlightens readers about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. It also reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber. Laced with antic stories of spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.

“A sly and somewhat subversive history of [the economics] profession . . . engrossing and highly relevant.”

— Jonathan A. Knee, New York Times

“Highly enjoyable . . . dense with fascinating examples. . . . It is long past time to replace Econs with Humans, both in theory and in the practice of prediction.”

— Carol Tavris, Wall Street Journal

“A dryly humorous history of the revolution [Thaler] helped ignite, as well as a useful (if sometimes challenging) primer on its key concepts.”

— Julia M. Klein, Chicago Tribune

“[A] masterful, readable account of behavioral economics. Very well done.”

— David Wessel, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of Red Ink and Ben Bernanke’s War on the Great Panic

“Bound to become a classic. Now established as one of the great figures in the history of economic thought, Thaler has no predecessors. A rebel with a cause . . .[w]here he wins Olympic gold is in keen observation; his greatest insights come from actually looking.”

— Cass Sunstein, New Rambler

“Entertaining…. An excellent read on the shortcomings of classical economic and finance theory.”

— Ronald L. Moy, CFA Institute

“The creative genius who invented the field of behavioral economics is also a master storyteller and a very funny man. All these talents arecon display in this wonderful book.”

— Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

“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

Richard Thaler has been at the center of the most important revolution to happen in economics in the last thirty years. In this captivating book, he lays out the evidence for behavioral economics and explains why there was so much resistance to it. Read Misbehaving. There is no better guide to this new and exciting economics.”

— Robert J. Shiller, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and author of Finance and the Good Society