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Behavioral Economics and Institutional Innovation

  • Robert J. Shiller

    (Cowles Foundation and International Center for Finance, Yale University)

Behavioral economics has played a fundamental role historically in innovation in economic institutions even long before behavioral economics was recognized as a discipline. Examples from history, notably that of the invention of workers' compensation, illustrate this point. Though scholarly discussion develops over decades, actual innovation tends to occur episodically, particularly at times of economic crisis. Fortunately, some of the major professional societies, the Verein für Sozialpolitik, the American Economic Association, and their successors, have managed to keep a broad discourse going involving a variety of research methods, including some that may be described today as behavioral economics, thereby maintaining an environment friendly to institutional innovation. Further, the broad expansion of behavioral economics that is going on today can be expected to yield even more such important institutional innovations.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 72 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 269–283

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:2:y:2005:p:269-283
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/

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