When the Nobel committee announced the awarding of this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences earlier this week to the University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler, it was also recognizing the growing importance of behavioral economics, a field that’s gained considerable strength in Brown’s Economics Department during the past few years.
Indeed, the Nobel committee’s background document cites papers by three members of our department, Professors Justine Hastings and Jesse Shapiro and Associate Professor John Friedman, as evidence of the influence that Thaler and behavioral economics have had. Brown also has faculty in the areas of economic theory and experimental economics whose research and teaching include behavioral approaches, with courses on behavioral or behavioral and experimental economics offered at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels. Professor Geoffroy DeClippel’s Economics 1820 (Behavioral Economics) course has 86 undergraduate students enrolled this semester. The Nobel committee’s recognition of behavioral economics finds Brown well positioned to be part of this intellectually exciting trend.