Misbehaving

  • by Richard Thaler
  • Narrated by L. J. Ganser
  • 13 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Get ready to change the way you think about economics.
Richard H. Thaler has spent his career studying the radical notion that the central agents in the economy are humans - predictable, error-prone individuals. Misbehaving is his arresting, frequently hilarious account of the struggle to bring an academic discipline back down to earth - and change the way we think about economics, ourselves, and our world.
Traditional economics assumes rational actors. Early in his research, Thaler realized these Spock-like automatons were nothing like real people. Whether buying a clock radio, selling basketball tickets, or applying for a mortgage, we all succumb to biases and make decisions that deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economists. In other words we misbehave. More importantly, our misbehavior has serious consequences. Dismissed at first by economists as an amusing sideshow, the study of human miscalculations and their effects on markets now drives efforts to make better decisions in our lives, our businesses, and our governments.
Coupling recent discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of incentives and market behavior, Thaler enlightens listeners about how to make smarter decisions in an increasingly mystifying world. He reveals how behavioral economic analysis opens up new ways to look at everything from household finance to assigning faculty offices in a new building, to TV game shows, the NFL draft, and businesses like Uber.
Laced with antic stories of Thaler's spirited battles with the bastions of traditional economic thinking, Misbehaving is a singular look into profound human foibles. When economics meets psychology, the implications for individuals, managers, and policy makers are both profound and entertaining.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

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Audible Editor Reviews

The unlikely duo of economics and behavioural psychology unite in the tremendously entertaining and vastly informative unabridged audiobook, Misbehaving, written by American economist Richard H. Thaler and narrated by L. J. Ganser. Breaking away from traditional understandings of economy, Thaler believes that in understanding and expecting irrational human behaviour, economists can predict the movement of the markets and economies far more accurately. In this enlightening book he helps you to recognise and make wise business and financial decisions, while taking into consideration the possibility of a volatile future economy. Available now from Audible.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Behavioural Economics in Perspective

I've read a lot of behavioural economics books, but this one has a genuinely different perspective. Although it does present many of the standard ideas of behavioural economics, (how we contradict ourselves by wanting inconsistent things, or make systematic errors in our perceptions and decisions etc. and it does this very well) the book's overall theme is behavioural economics itself. It explains how BE impacts on classical economics, and how difficult and challenging it is for classically trained economists to adjust to what is genuinely a paradigm shift. Thaler draws out the importance of these shifts - before I had seen BE as a set of quirky anomalies and wrinkles but Thaler argues that humans, not 'econs', have to be put at the heart of economics, and that this calls for a fundamental reassessment of the subject. Thaler's style is personal (the book is written largely as a memoir) and sometimes it gets a touch self indulgent (the reorganisation of the economics department's offices), but Thaler's humorous tone and wit often carry this off. I loved the concept of the 'invisible hand wave'.

Narration: perfect, Ganser sounds like a sympathetic American economics professor.
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- Judy Corstjens

Excellent

I thoroughly enjoyed Misbehaving.

As other reviewers suggest it is quite autobiographical in tone so expect plenty of personal anecdotes from the author's life, rather than a straight-up discussion of the subject matter.

For me, this works really well. It allows you to get a real insight into the difficulties of trying to push a new way of thinking (behavioral economics) into an established field (traditional economics).

Misbehaving is, as the subtitle states, about the story of how this new field, behavioral economics came about, rather than just a direct explanation of what behavioral economics is. Although it does a fine job of explaining this too.

As a sidenote: I found one of the later chapters about the author's work for the UK government especially interesting, as a Brit myself.

Plus the naration was excellent.
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- Tim W

Book Details

  • Release Date: 18-05-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios