Daniel Kahneman and Richard Thaler on the Beginning of Behavioral Economics

October 23, 2017

As part of their Nobel Perspectives series, UBS has released a short video on how the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard Thaler (University of Chicago), began his work in behavioral economics. In the clip, former Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman (Princeton University) discusses the role the Russell Sage Foundation and former RSF president Eric Wanner played in supporting the development and expansion of the field of behavioral economics.

"Eric Wanner wanted to bring psychology and economics together," Kahneman explains. "Wanner became president of the Russell Sage Foundation, and the first grant [in behavioral economics] they gave was to Dick Thaler to spend a year with me. That was the beginning of behavioral economics."

Thaler is a former RSF trustee, a member of the foundation’s Behavioral Economics Roundtable, and a Margaret Olivia Sage scholar. He also authored the RSF book Quasi Rational Economics (1994) and edited the RSF volume Advances in Behavioral Finance (1993). Kahneman is a member of the foundation's Behavioral Economics Roundtable, the co-editor of the RSF book Well-Being (2003), and the recipient of multiple RSF grants.

Thaler and Kahneman are two of eight scholars affiliated with the Russell Sage Foundation who have won the Nobel Prize in Economics over the years. View the full list of RSF-affiliated Nobelists.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


Join our mailing list for email updates.