Here is a skeptical take on the insights supposedly offered by the rise of behavioral economics as represented by Daniel Kahneman and others. Since I’m in the process of reviewing Kahneman it will be interesting to see if Levine’s take on behavioral economics jibes with my take on Kahneman in particular and behavioral economics in general – I have a strong sense that is unlikely to be the case.
Here is an article in the WSJ on Deirdre McCloskey. I had the honour and pleasure to meet Deirdre some 18 months ago at a conference on behavioral economics in San Diego. She was absolutely delightful. Everything you wanted to know about Deirdre but were afraid to ask . . . can be found here.
Daniel Kahneman’s recently released book Thinking, Fast and Slow aimed at a popular audience is certainly generating a great deal of press, so far as I can tell, most of it very positive. Here he is outlining his experimental work in a Ted Talk. As a behavioral economist much of what he says about rationality will have resonance for Hayek and Simon and other situated cognitive theorists. I think that much of what Kahneman says is consistent with Gunderman from the previous posting though they are of course very different thinkers.
Check out this recent paper by Herb Gintis entitled Hayek’s “Contribution to a Reconstruction of Economic Theory.” Herb’s paper is, I think, going to be part of an edited collection that I’m also contributing to and am still polishing up. I had the pleasure of meeting Herb just over a year ago at the Society for Behavioral Economics conference in San Diego. I recently read Herb’s The Bounds of Rationality – the title a clear nudge and a wink to that other Herb – H. A. Simon’s famous phrase. And it’s endorsed by none other Nobel laureate Vernon Smith who I happened to meet this past May at a conference.