Richard Thaler (University of Chicago) has been awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science for his contributions to behavioral economics. Thaler is a former trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation, a member of the foundation’s Behavioral Economics Roundtable, and an incoming Margaret Olivia Sage scholar. He is also the author of Quasi Rational Economics (1994) and the editor of Advances in Behavioral Finance (1993).
Economist Robert Solow (MIT), RSF Robert K. Merton Scholar and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1987, said of the announcement:
"Dick Thaler's imagination, ingenuity and good-humored persistence played a major role in bringing behavioral economics from the fringes of the discipline to one of its important concerns. It is characteristic of his work that an anomalous observation or passing insight is developed into a practical device for doing good. There is a lot of unexplored territory still to be worked over, and I hope that this honor will attract others to follow Dick Thaler's lead with the same openness and curiosity."
Thaler is currently the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. With Cass Sunstein (Harvard University), he authored Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (2008), which introduced the idea of “nudges”—subtle techniques designed to influence individual behaviors in beneficial ways—to policymakers and the public. His most recent book is Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics (2015).
“I’ll confess to being thrilled about this prize,” New York Times columnist and Upshot founder David Leonhardt wrote in his newsletter Monday morning. “I met Thaler almost 20 years ago when I was a young economics reporter, and he’s become a tutor, mentor and friend. He brings an impish joy to the study of human behavior, and it comes through in his writing.”