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Michael Fox

IRRATIONALITY: Rethinking thinking | The Economist - 0 views

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    "Even economists are finally waking up to this fact. A wind of change is now blowing some human spirit back into the ivory towers where economic theory is made. It is becoming increasingly fashionable for economists, especially the younger, more ambitious ones, to borrow insights from psychologists (and sometimes even biologists) to try to explain drug addiction, the working habits of New York taxi-drivers, current sky-high American share prices and other types of behaviour which seem to defy rationality. Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, made a bow to this new trend when he wondered about the "irrational exuberance" of American stockmarkets way back in December 1996 (after an initial flutter of concern, investors ignored him).

    Many economic rationalists still hold true to their faith, and some have fought back by devising rational explanations for the apparent irrationalities studied by the growing school of "behavioural economists". Ironically, orthodox economists have been forced to fight this rearguard action against heretics in their own ranks just as their own approach has begun to be more widely applied in other social sciences such as the study of law and politics. "
Michael Fox

The Economics of Seinfeld - 0 views

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    "Seinfeld ran for nine seasons on NBC and became famous as a "show about nothing." Basically, the show allows viewers to follow the antics of Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer as they move through their daily lives, often encountering interesting people or dealing with special circumstances.

    It is the simplicity of Seinfeld that makes it so appropriate for use in economics courses. Using these clips (as well as clips from other television shows or movies) makes economic concepts come alive, making them more real for students. Ultimately, students will start seeing economics everywhere - in other TV shows, in popular music, and most importantly, in their own lives."
Michael Fox

Freakonomics Radio: Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    "When you take a sip of Cabernet, what are you tasting? The grape? The tannins? The oak barrel? Or the price?

    Believe it or not, the most dominant flavor may be the dollars. Thanks to the work of some intrepid and wine-obsessed economists (yes, there is an American Association of Wine Economists), we are starting to gain a new understanding of the relationship between wine, critics and consumers."
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    Thanks to Felix (TAS2010) for passing this one on!
Michael Fox

We Hold These Truths to Be Universal - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    "The behavioral revolution in economics and psychology has successfully identified and named close to three dozen biases (my favorite behavioral folk song defines them in verse). I had thought that these biases transcended issues of culture. Indeed, both neoclassical and behavioral economists were united in a belief that cultural variables were of secondary importance when it came to the deep drivers of behavior. But a series of experiments now has me thinking that the underlying heuristics are less universal."
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