Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Reasoning about our irrational ways

Elizabert Kolbert writes an interesting review in The New Yorker of several books on our irrational economic and political behaviors, the field of behavioral economics. It seems very likely that as politicians and governments become more knowledgeable about the patterns and emotional mechanisms governing our blunders, they will begin to nudge people towards more rational choices. The 'opt out' plans for increasing the numbers of people with health insurance plans or retirement savings are one example of this. Obama's campaign is making very good use of some basic neuro-economics and some of his people are aware of Westin's work (see my July 11 post), as well as Lakoff's (see Jan 31 post). Hillary doesn't seem to have a clue......

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