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From Homo Economicus to Homo Sapiens

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  • Richard H. Thaler

Abstract

In responding to a request for predictions about the future of economics, I predict that Homo Economicus will evolve into Homo Sapiens, or, more simply put, economics will become more related to human behavior. My specific predictions are that Homo Economicus will start to lose IQ, will become a slower learner, will start interacting with other species, and that economists will start to study human cognition, human emotion, and will distinguish more clearly between normative and descriptive theories.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "From Homo Economicus to Homo Sapiens," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 133-141, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:14:y:2000:i:1:p:133-141 Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.14.1.133
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
    2. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 47-74.
    3. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1281-1302.
    4. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1313-1326.
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    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists

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