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Richard H. Thaler

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Richard Thaler is the Robert P. Gwinn Professor of behavioral science and economics at University of Chicago. He currently serves as the director of the Center for Decision Research, and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and co-director of the project on behavioral economics. His research focuses on behavioral economics and finance, as well as the psychology of decision making. He has served as a visiting professor at the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as the H. J. Louis Professor of Economics, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. Dr. Thaler earned his B.A. in economics from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester.

Current Positions:
*Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, and Director of the Center for Decision Research, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
*Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (co-director -with Robert Shiller- of the Behavioral Economics Project, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation)

Recent Academic History:
*January 1988-June 1995: Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Economics, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University and Director, Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision Research
*Septeber 1994-June 1995: Visiting Professor, Sloan School of Management, MIT
*January 1993-July 1993: Visiting Scholar, Sloan School of Management, MIT
*September 1991-July 1992: Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, NY

“I am an economist by training, but for the last 25 years I have been exploring ways to incorporate the findings of modern psychology into economic analysis.”

“As firms switch from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans, employees bear more responsibility for making decisions about how much to save. The employees who fail to join the plan or who participate at a very low level appear to be saving at less than the predicted life cycle savings rates. Behavioral explanations for this behavior stress bounded rationality and self-control and suggest that at least some of the low-saving households are making a mistake and would welcome aid in making decisions about their saving”.

“We tend to think others are just like us. My colleague, George Wu, asked his students two questions: Do you have a cell phone? What percentage of the class has a cell phone? Cell phone owners thought 65 percent of the class had mobile phones, while the immobile phoners thought only 40 percent did. The right answer was about halfway in between. The false consensus effect will trap me into thinking that other economists will agree with me, 20 years of contrary evidence notwithstanding.”

Selected Books:
* Richard Thaler (1991). Quasi-Rational Economics. Russell Sage Foundation.
* Richard Thaler (1991). The Winner’s Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life. Free Press.
* Richard Thaler (ed.) (1993). Advances in Behavioral Finance, editor. Russell Sage Foundation.

Selected Articles:
* Barberis , Nicholas and Richard H. Thaler (2003), A Survey of Behavioral Finance. In Handbook of the Economics of Finance. George M. Constantinides, Milton Harris, and Rene Stultz editors. Elsevier Science, North Holland, Amsterdam.
* Lamont, Owen and Richard Thaler, (2003), Can the Market Add and Subtract? Mispricing in Tech Stock Carve-Outs , Journal of Political Economy. 111(2): 227-268
* Benartzi , Shlomo, and Richard Thaler, (2002), How Much Is Investor Autonomy Worth? Journal of Finance Vol. 57.4, pp. 1593-1616.
* Benartzi, S.and Thaler, R., 2004, Save More Tomorrow: Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Savings, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 112:1, 164-187.

Other Interests:
Tennis, skiing, wine.

Read more:
Richard H. Thaler’s Home page at the Univerity of Chicago

Richard H. Thaler’s Activity page at the University of Chicago

Richard H. Thaler Bio


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