Tag: behavioral economics

Blog Posts (30)

December 17, 2014

How Healthy Food Could Make You Fat

Have you ever eaten a healthy meal, maybe some brown rice and stir-fried veggies, and found yourself ready for another meal just a short while later? Or, more often couldn’t overcome a hankering for a satisfying dessert to top off … Continue reading
December 15, 2014

Is Homo Economicus a Psychopath?

In what academics call neoclassical economics, human beings are largely rational, self-interested decision-makers. This stereotypical human, often referred to as Homo economicus, is a creature of coldly calculated selfishness, dispassionately maximizing its best interests even if that comes at the … Continue reading
December 12, 2014

The Ulysses Strategy

As the University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler tells the story, a group of fellow-graduate students in economics were at his house one night in the late nineteen-seventies, socializing before the dinner hour. Thaler saw how much they were snacking, and … Continue reading
December 10, 2014

Will A “Red Light” Be An Effective Nudge To Stop People From Drinking Coke?

So many foods beckoning us from the grocery store shelves – but which ones are healthy for us to consume? We could study Nutritional Facts labels, but that feels as challenging as the math portion of the SAT, with so … Continue reading
December 5, 2014

Putting the Sin in Sin Tax

With Thanksgiving behind us, many Americans will not assemble together for a home-cooked meal again for a while. By some estimates, people living in large cities consume the majority of their meals outside the home — at restaurants, coffee shops, bars … Continue reading
November 21, 2014

Time To Stop Paying For Pepsi With Food Stamps

The food stamp program helps over 40 million Americans pay for groceries. Unlike other forms of economic assistance, this program, called SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), only pays for food, thereby constraining how recipients make use of the aid. … Continue reading
November 14, 2014

My Burrito Has How Many Calories?!?

In collaboration with Peggy Liu and Jim Bettman, I’ve had fun doing some research on just how hard it is for people to guess how many calories they are consuming, at restaurants like Chipotle where everyone puts different ingredients on … Continue reading
November 11, 2014

A Park Bench That Tells You You’re Fat?

Clearly we in the United States are not taking the obesity epidemic as seriously as the Russian government. We debate whether it is appropriate for the government to require restaurants to inform their customers about how many calories they are … Continue reading
September 26, 2014

More on Relativity and Happiness

Recently, I wrote about relative wealth and happiness. A new NBER paper, by Stevenson and Wolfers, seems to belie this view. It shows a sharp increase in happiness with increasing income: But these data are consistent with the idea that … Continue reading
September 25, 2014

Behavioral Economics and the Relativity Theory of Happiness

According to many traditional economic theories of human nature, higher income should make people happier. That’s because with every additional dollar we make, we can purchase goods that increase our “utility.” Or we can save more money, and reduce anxiety … Continue reading

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