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Behavioral Economics
A History


Part of Historical Perspectives on Modern Economics

  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107569546

£ 22.99

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About the Authors
  • This book presents a history of behavioral economics. The recurring theme is that behavioral economics reflects and contributes to a fundamental reorientation of the epistemological foundations upon which economics had been based since the days of Smith, Ricardo, and Mill. With behavioral economics, the discipline has shifted from grounding its theories in generalized characterizations to building theories from behavioral assumptions directly amenable to empirical validation and refutation. The book proceeds chronologically and takes the reader from von Neumann and Morgenstern's axioms of rational behavior, through the incorporation of rational decision theory in psychology in the 1950s–70s, to the creation and rise of behavioral economics in the 1980s and 1990s at the Sloan and Russell Sage Foundations.

    • The first history of behavioral economics on the market
    • Offers a genuine and neutral understanding of the historical, philosophical, and societal contexts from which behavioral economics emerged
    • Based on exclusive interviews with participants and draws on a number of previously unexplored archives
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This superb book gives the reader a unique and fascinating window into the historical and intellectual origins of behavioral economics, a movement that is rebuilding economics on a new, more realistic foundation.' George Loewenstein, Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

    'The author provides a balanced treatment of diverging views with a light hand on interpretation … Summing up: highly recommended.' M. H. Lesser, Choice

    'Together, the two narratives make for a richer fabric that can undergird future debates and serve as a basis for much-needed further work on the history, philosophy, and methodology of behavioral economics.' Erik Angner, Journal of the History of Economic Thought

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107569546
    • length: 238 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Understanding human behavior
    2. The incorporation of von Neumann and Morgenstern's behavioral axioms in economics and psychology
    3. 'Measurement theory in psychology is behavior theory'
    4. Kahneman and Tversky: heuristics, biases, and prospects for psychology and economics
    5. Incorporating psychological experiments in economics and the construction of behavioral economics
    6. Building and defining behavioral economics

  • Author

    Floris Heukelom, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
    Floris Heukelom is Assistant Professor of Economics, Radboud University Nijmegen. He specializes in the use of the experiment in twentieth-century economics and psychology. Among other journals, he has published in Science in Context, the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, History of Political Economy, and the Journal of Economic Methodology.

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