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Who are the Behavioral Economists and what do they say?

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  • Floris Heukelom

    ()
    (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

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    Abstract

    The most important financial source for behavioral economics is the Russell Sage Foundation (RSF). The most prominent behavioral economists among the RSF’s twenty-six member Behavioral Economics Roundtable (BER) are Kahneman, Tversky, Thaler, Camerer, Loewenstein, Rabin, and Laibson. The theoretical core of behavioral economics made up of the work of these seven researchers is positioned in opposition to Adam Smith/Hayek type of economics, as exemplified by experimental economists Vernon Smith and Plott; and what is referred to as ‘mainstream’ or ‘traditional’ economics, meaning the neoclassical economics that roughly builds on Samuelson. On the basis of an overview of the work of these seven behavioral economists, a theoretical division can be observed within behavioral economics. The first branch considers human decision-making to be a problem of exogenous uncertainty, which can be analyzed with decision theory. It employs traditional economics as a nor! mative benchmark and favors a normative-descriptive(-prescriptive) distinction for economics. The second branch considers human decision-making to be a problem of strategic interaction, in which the uncertainty is endogenous. Its main tool is game theory. It rejects traditional economics both positively and normatively.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 07-020/1.

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    Date of creation: 12 Feb 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20070020

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    Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

    Related research

    Keywords: Behavioral economics; Russell Sage Foundation; experimental economics; Kahneman; Tversky; Thaler; Laibson; Loewenstein; Rabin; Camerer;

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    References

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    37. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1986. "Rational Choice and the Framing of Decisions," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S251-78, October.
    38. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
    39. Grether, David M, 1980. "Bayes Rule as a Descriptive Model: The Representativeness Heuristic," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 537-57, November.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Deneysel ve Davranissal Iktisada Giris -1-
      by U. Baris Urhan in iktisadiyat on 2008-11-05 12:00:00
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    Cited by:
    1. Berg, Nathan & Gigerenzer, Gerd, 2010. "As-if behavioral economics: Neoclassical economics in disguise?," MPRA Paper 26586, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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