If Obama isn't an old-school Keynesian, what is he? One answer is that he is a behavioralist—the term economists use to describe those who subscribe to the tenets of behavioral economics, an increasingly popular discipline that seeks to marry the insights of psychology to the rigor of economics...One of the reasons this approach has proved so popular is that it appears to provide a center ground between the Friedmanites and the Keynesians, whose intellectual jousting dominated economics for most of the twentieth century...Thaler and Sunstein lay out a number of principles that can be used to encourage better choice-making, and they apply them to various topical issues, including retirement saving, health care, and the environment. In a number of cases, the measures that Thaler and Sunstein recommend are mirrored by proposals in Obama's voluminous policy papers, which can be downloaded from his Web site.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Obama and Neuroeconomics
In the New York Review of Books John Cassidy offers an interesting review of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein.