Nobel Prize in Economics Awarded to Richard H. Thaler

Nobel Prize in Economics Awarded to Richard H. Thaler

The Sveriges Riksbank (Swedish National Bank) Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was first awarded in 1969, almost seven decades after the series of prestigious prizes that Nobel called for.

University of Chicago professor Richard Thaler has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics for his work on behavioral economics, which tries to understand how humans make decisions, especially bad ones. Thaler won the $1.1-million prize for "understanding the psychology of economics", Swedish Academy of Sciences secretary Goran Hansson said. "He's made economics more human". His work explores "the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control", which reveal how humans' flaws "systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes". "This is quite a amusing question", he said.

Professor Thaler is considered one of the founding fathers of behavioural economics, a field that shows that far from being the rational decision-makers described in economic theory, people often make decisions that don't serve their best interests. In one, he scolded Congress for extending tax cuts for the wealthy and advocated for automatically enrolling people in retirement savings accounts.

Thaler, a professor at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, is most well-known for his 2008 book "Nudge" co-authored with Cass Sunstein, a professor at The University of Chicago Law School.

Thaler has previously said that his "favorite illustration" of a nudge was how Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport greatly reduced cleaning costs around its urinals by etching images of flies on the urinals, giving people something to aim at.

Thaler also transcended academic circles a bit and even made it into the big screen.

Thaler appeared in a memorable cameo alongside Selena Gomez in the Christian Bale-, Steve Carrell-starring 2015 financial-crisis chronicle The Big Short.

For the second consecutive year, there were no women among the 2017 Nobel prize laureates.

It was not part of the original group of awards set out in dynamite tycoon Nobel's 1895 will.

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