Udayan Roy

Behavioral Economics

Research Papers (PDF)

Adam Smith, Behavioral Economist by Nava Ashraf, Colin F. Camerer and George Loewenstein, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 19, Number 3, Summer 2005.

Early decisions: A regulatory framework by John Beshears, James J. Choi, David Laibson and Brigitte C. Madrian, SWEDISH ECONOMIC POLICY REVIEW 12 (2005)

Schmeduling by Jeffrey B. Liebman and Richard J. Zeckhauser, Harvard University and NBER, Working Paper, October 2004

Libertarian Paternalism Is Not an Oxymoron by Cass R. Sunstein and Richard H. Thaler, The University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 70 Fall 2003 Number 4.

Behavioral Economics: Past, Present, Future by Colin F. Camerer and George Loewenstein, Working Paper, 10/25/2002.

Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Econometrica, Vol. 47, No. 2 (March 1979), 263-292.

Harvard grads turn gym business model on its head; fitness plan members pay more if they don’t work out By Susan Johnston, Boston Globe, January 24, 2011. [Harvard students are using the ideas of behavioral economics to design a better type of gym membership that will help members stick to their exercise plans.]

Game Theory By BRUCE WEBER, The New York Times, January 27, 2011. [This is a review of "Scorecasting," a book in which a behavioral economist and a sportswriter take on some of the most cherished myths in sports.]

The Economics of Tiger Parenting By IAN AYRES, Freakonomics (blog), The New York Times, January 21, 2011, 12:00 PM.

Why a Budget Is Like a Diet — Ineffective By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD, The New York Times, December 31, 2010. [The battle, experts in behavioral finance say, is in finding ways to close the gap between good intentions and human nature.]

Greater Choice Doesn’t Make You Happy By CATHERINE RAMPELL, Economix (blog), The New York Times, November 12, 2010, 3:15 pm. [The more options you have, the less happy you are, at least if you’re a heavy TV watcher.]

Burgerville Offers Personalized Calorie Counts on Receipts, You Want Thighs With That? BY Ariel Schwartz, Fast Company, Tue May 18, 2010. [A good way to make calorie information stick. A brave way for a restaurant to help its customers make the right choices.]

Brains Like To Keep It Real, by Catherine Clabby, American Scientist, November-December 2010. [A neuroeconomist peers into the brain to see what makes us want to buy something.]

F.D.A. Unveils Proposed Graphic Warning Labels for Cigarette Packs, By GARDINER HARRIS, The New York Times, November 10, 2010. [Designed to cover half the surface area of a pack, new proposed labels are meant to vividly remind smokers of tobacco’s dangers. An excellent example of libertarian paternalism, if you are prepared to ignore the infringement of the cigarette companies' liberty.]

The Opt-Out Solution By TINA ROSENBERG, The Opinionator (blog), The New York Times, November 1, 2010, 8:15 pm. [How behavioral economics can be used to encourage people to save more, donate their organs (upon their death, of course), and get tested for AIDS. ] Readers' reactions!

Nudge the Vote, By SASHA ISSENBERG, The New York Times, October 29, 2010. [What’s even better than getting Lady Gaga to play your Election Day rally? Sending out a mailing that applies a subtle dose of peer pressure.]

Microscopic Microeconomics, By JONAH LEHRER, The New York Times, October 29, 2010. [Can neuroscience predict financial bubbles?]

Later by James Surowiecki, The New Yorker, October 11, 2010. [What does procrastination tell us about ourselves? This is a review of The Thief of Time: Philosophical Essays on Procrastination edited by Chrisoula Andreou and Mark D. White, Oxford University Press, 2010, ISBN: 9780195376685.]

Missouri Tells Judges Cost of Sentences, By MONICA DAVEY, The New York Times, September 18, 2010. [Judges in Missouri, in a hotly debated practice, are now told how much each type of sentence costs. Is this a useful nudge? Or will it pollute justice with issues that should be irrelevant?]

The Overconfidence Problem in Forecasting, By RICHARD H. THALER, The New York Times, August 21, 2010. [Big company CFOs are spectacularly bad at predicting the stock market. And CEOs are way too confident of their own abilities. What's worse is that big companies may be using a CEO selection procedure that favors these overconfident doofuses.]

Your Card Has Been Declined, Just as You Wanted, By RON LIEBER, The New York Times, August 13, 2010. [We keep getting into trouble because we have no willpower. But there are ways of protecting ourselves from ourselves. Also, on this theme, check out www.stickk.com/.]

Economics Behaving Badly, By GEORGE LOEWENSTEIN and PETER UBEL, The New York Times, July 15, 2010. [The limits of what psychology can tell us about choices.]

What We Miss, By PAUL BLOOM, The New York Times, June 6, 2010

What We Misunderstand, By KYLA DUNN, The New York Times, June 6, 2010

The Impact of the Irrelevant on Decision-Making , By ROBERT H. FRANK, The New York Times, May 28, 2010

You've been framed, The Economist, May 27, 2010. [Consumers are suckers for “special” deals that are costlier than they first appear]

Training the Brain To Choose Wisely, By VANESSA FUHRMANS, Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2009

It Doesn’t Have To Hurt: Government should use the lessons of behavioral economics to get us to invest more for retirement, By Richard Thaler, NEWSWEEK, Apr 20, 2009

How Obama Is Using the Science of Change, By Michael Grunwald, Time, Thursday, Apr. 02, 2009

The New Paternalism: An economist and a legal scholar argue that policy makers should nudge people into making good decisions, By EVAN R. GOLDSTEIN, The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 9, 2008

Testosterone May Fuel Stock-Market Success, Or Make Traders Tipsy, By ROBERT LEE HOTZ, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 18, 2008; Page B1

Lured Toward the Right Choice, By Barbara Kiviat, Time, April 03, 2008 [Review of Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein]

Emonomics, By DAVID BERREBY, The New York Times, March 16, 2008 [Review of Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely]

What Was I Thinking?, by Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, February 25, 2008  [The latest reasoning about our irrational ways. Review of Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely]

Grape expectations: What wine can tell us about the nature of reality, By Jonah Lehrer, Boston Globe, February 24, 2008

Charting the Agony Of a Brain as It Struggles to Be Fair, By ROBERT LEE HOTZ, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, October 12, 2007; Page B1

Who’s Minding the Mind?, By BENEDICT CAREY, The New York Times, July 31, 2007

Neuroeconomics: Money isn't everything, The Economist, July 5th 2007 [Men with a lot of testosterone make curious economic choices]

Sometimes, What’s Needed Is a Nudge, By DAVID LEONHARDT, The New York Times, May 16, 2007

Your Plate Is Bigger Than Your Stomach, By DAVID LEONHARDT, The New York Times, May 2, 2007

The Survival of the Fattest, by Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, The New Republic, Issue date: 03.19.07 [Review of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think By Brian Wansink]

Lotto Makes Sense, Even for Losers, By BENEDICT CAREY, The New York Times, March 11, 2007

Helping People Help Themselves, By TERESA TRITCH, The New York Times, February 14, 2007

When mañana is too soon: A psychologist in Calgary thinks he knows why we procrastinate, by Jan 14, 2007

Why say no to free money? It's neuro-economics, stupid, The Times, London, October 07, 2006 [Studies show how the brain lets the emotions override common sense when reaching some tough decisions. Our correspondent reports on the 'ultimatum game']

The Herd Changes Course and Runs Away From S.U.V.’s, By ROBERT H. FRANK, The New York Times, August 3, 2006

The Marketplace of Perceptions, by Craig Lambert, Harvard Magazine, March-April 2006 [Behavioral economics explains why we procrastinate, buy, borrow, and grab chocolate on the spur of the moment.]

The aggro of the agora, The Economist, Jan 12th 2006 [Consumers fail to measure up to economists' expectations]

Pensions by default, The Economist, August 25th 2005 [Behavioural finance offers a tempting alternative to voluntary and forced saving for old age]

Scaring Us Senseless, By NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB, The New York Times, July 24, 2005

Monkey Business, By STEPHEN J. DUBNER and STEVEN D. LEVITT, The New York Times Magazine, June 5, 2005 [Keith Chen's Monkey Research]

Why Logic Often Takes A Backseat, By Peter Coy, BusinessWeek, MARCH 28, 2005 [The study of neuroeconomics may topple the notion of rational decision-making]

Can behavioral economics save us from ourselves? by Sharla A. Stewart, University of Chicago Magazine, February 2005 [Traditional economics holds that humans, as rational beings, make choices to maximize their welfare. Chicago’s Richard Thaler argues that policy makers—including those working on President Bush’s plan to partially privatize Social Security—would do well to remember that rationality has its bounds.]

Mind games, The Economist, Jan 13th 2005 [Can studying the human brain revolutionise economics?]

The Dry Goods Frenzy, Updated, By TRACIE ROZHON, The New York Times, December 5, 2004

As Two Economists Debate Markets, The Tide Shifts: Belief in Efficient Valuation Yields Ground to Role Of Irrational Investors, By JON E. HILSENRATH, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, October 18, 2004

The evolution of everyday life, The Economist, Aug 12th 2004 [Co-operation has brought the human race a long way in a staggeringly short time]

Mind Reading, By Jerry Adler, Newsweek, July 5, 2004 [The new science of decision making. It's not as rational as you think. Another version: August 9, 2004.]

To have and to hold, The Economist, Aug 28th 2003 [Can people learn to be as rational as economic theory supposes?]

How Much Does It Cost Not to Go to the Gym?, By DAVID LEONHARDT, The New York Times, July 6, 2003

When Emotions Guide Investors, By HAL R. VARIAN, The New York Times, July 3, 2003

Calculating the Irrational in Economics, By STEPHEN J. DUBNER, The New York Times, June 28, 2003

Brain Experts Now Follow the Money, By SANDRA BLAKESLEE, The New York Times, June 17, 2003

Prospect Theory, By DIRK OLIN, The New York Times, June 8, 2003

Behaviourists at the gates, The Economist, May 8th 2003 [How economists are using psychology to question orthodox policy prescriptions]

Nobel Winner: Investors Can't Beat Market, By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, The New York Times, January 1, 2003

Explaining the Irrational, By Julie Diop, Technology Review, November 2002

How a Tax on Cigarettes Can Help The Taxed, By DAVID LEONHARDT, The New York Times, April 14, 2002

Investor Behavior Plays Role in Debate Over Wider Choice in 40l(k)'s, By HAL R. VARIAN, The New York Times, February 14, 2002

The Compromise Effect . . . And the New Thinking About Money Is That Your Irrationality Is Predictable, By Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post, Sunday, January 27, 2002; Page H01

Some Funds Try to Read Your Mind, By ELIZABETH HARRIS, The New York Times, AUG 19, 2001

The Outlook, by Steven Lipin, The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2001

Economic Scene: Pentagon Shows That It Doesn't Always Pay to Take the Money and Run, By ALAN B. KRUEGER, The New York Times, May 24, 2001

Putting a Human Face on Economics, By Charles J. Whalen, BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : JULY 31, 2000 ISSUE