Skip to Navigation

Behavioral Economics Reading List

March 23, 2012

As we discussed in this post, the Russell Sage Foundation played an instrumental role in the development of behavioral economics. Readers looking for a quick introduction to the discipline can find a series of articles below from the field's leading scholars. As with our reading list on inequality and mobility, this list is not meant to be exhaustive; users looking for more advanced research should see these reading lists, as well as the Foundation's behavioral economics program page, which lists our current research initiatives.


"A Short Course in Behavioral Economics." The October 1 2008. Web. March 23 2012.

Camerer, Colin. 1999. "Behavioral economics: Reunifying psychology and economics." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96 (19): 10575-10577.

Kahneman, Daniel. 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics." American Economic Review 93 (5): 1449-1475. (PDF)

Laibson, David and Richard Zeckhauser. 1998. "Amos Tversky and the Ascent of Behavioral Economics." Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 16 (7): 7-47. (PDF)

Lambert, Craig. 2006. "The Marketplace of Perceptions." Harvard Magazine. Online. March 23, 2012.

Mullainathan, Sendhil and Richard Thaler. 2000. "Behavioral Economics." MIT Working Paper 00-27.

Rabin, Matthew. 1998. "Psychology and Economics." Journal of Economic Literature 36 (1): 11-46. (PDF)

Rabin, Matthew. 2002. "A Perspective on Psychology and Economics." U.C. Berkeley Working Paper E02-313.

Thaler, Richard and Cass Sunstein. Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.



Kahneman, Daniel, Jack L. Knetsch and Richard H. Thaler. 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias." Journal of Economic Perspectives 5 (1): 193-206. (PDF)

Risk and Uncertainty

Tversky, Amos and Daniel Kahneman. 1974. "Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases." Science 184 (4157): 1124-1131. (PDF)

Prospect Theory

Kahneman, Daniel and Amos Tversky. 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk." Econometrica 47 (2): 263-292. (PDF)

Tversky, Amos and Daniel Kahneman. 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty." Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 5: 297-323. (PDF)

Loss Aversion

Kahneman, Daniel, Jack L. Knetsch, and Richard Thaler. 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem." Journal of Political Economy 98 (6): 1325-1348. (PDF)

Mental Accounting

Thaler, Richard. 1999. "Mental Accounting Matters." Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 12: 183-206. (PDF)

Time and Choice

Laibson, David. 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting." Quarterly Journal of Economics 443-477. (PDF)

O'Donoghue, Ted and Matthew Rabin. 1999. "Doing It Now or Later." American Economic Review 89 (1): 103-124. (PDF)


Bertrand, Marianne, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. 2004. "A Behavioral Economics View of Poverty. AEA Papers and Proceedings 94 (2): 419-423. (PDF)

Camerer, Colin, Samuel Issacharoff, George Loewenstein, Ted O'Donoghue, and Matthew Rabin. "Regulation for Conservatives: Behavioral Economics and the Case for Asymmetric Paternalism." University of Pennsylvania Law Review 151 (3): 1211-1254. (PDF)

Madrian, Brigitte C. and Dennis F. Shea. 2001. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior." Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. CXVI (4): 1149-1187. (PDF)

Thaler, Richard and Shlomo Benartzi. 2004. "Save More Tomorrow: Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving." Journal of Political Economy 112 (1): S164-187. (PDF)


Stirling Economic and Psychology Research Group: Lectures and Readings on Behavioral Economics.

Good Reads: Popular Behavioral Economics Books.

Farnam Street: Behavioral Economics Reading List.

Liam Delaney's Behavioral Economics Reading List.

Syllabus: Psychology and Economics, from David Laibson and Andrei Shleifer (Harvard).

Syllabus: Behavioral Economics and Finance, from Xavier Gabaix (MIT).