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American Richard H. Thaler Wins Nobel Prize in Economic Science

October 09, 2017

American Richard H. Thaler was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Economics — officially the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

The award committee said Thaler was chosen “for his contributions to behavioral economics.”

“By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control,” Thaler “has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes,” the Swedish Academy said.

Thaler developed the theory of “mental accounting,” explaining how people simplify financial decision-making by creating separate accounts in their minds, focusing on the narrow impact of each individual decision rather than its overall effect.

Thaler was born 1945 in East Orange, New Jersey and received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Rochester, New York. He is a Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Illinois.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the award Monday. It carries a $1.1 million prize.

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