College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Behavioral Economics, Explained

Eriks book

Erik Angner, faculty member, Department of Philosophy, and director, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program, is pleased to announce the second edition of his Course in Behavioral Economics textbook. The first edition of the book was well received, at one time standing at #1 on Amazon UK’s list of the bestselling books on microeconomics.

But what is behavioral economics? 

Angner explains that behavioral economics encompasses "the effort to improve the explanatory and predictive power of economics by integrating it with psychology. Orthodox economic theory tends to assume that individual actors within an economy make rational decisions aimed to satisfy their preferences." Behavioral economics adds a twist: it takes into account psychological and social factors to explain why people make the -- often irrational -- choices that they actually make.

The differences between behavioral and mainstream economics are the subject of Angner's Course in Behavioral Economics, which is now available through Amazon. Angner offers a comparison of the theories and models that underlie each mode of thinking, and reinforces the lessons with examples and exercises. Behavioral economist George Loewenstein says the book is “packed with wisdom, insight, humor and compelling examples, and admirable in its breadth and depth of coverage” and calls it “a superb choice” for anyone interested in the topic.

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