U.S. economist Richard Thaler won the 2017 Nobel Economics Prize for his contributions in the field of behavioral economics. Fred Katayama reports.
American economist Richard Thaler won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Economics for his work on how human nature affects supposedly rational markets. Royal Academy of Sciences Secretary General Goran Hansson: (SOUNDBITE) GORAN K. HANSSON, SECRETARY GENERAL, ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, to Richard H. Thaler for his contributions to behavioral economics." Thaler's research showed how traits, such as lack of self-control and fear of losing what you already have, prompt decisions that may not be the best in the longer term. The University of Chicago professor is a pioneer of the so-called "nudge" theory, where individuals are subtly guided toward beneficial behaviors. He wrote a book about it, and that caught the eye of policymakers around the world. (SOUNDBITE) RICHARD THALER, CHARLES R. WALGREEN DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PROFESSOR OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE AND ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I basically have made a career stealing ideas from psychologists, and you can save the trouble of learning from psychologists directly just by looking at what I've stolen." Thaler also made a cameo in the 2015 film about the great recession "The Big Short" explaining the so-called "hot-hand fallacy" where past success is expected to also warrant success in the future.