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‘Nudge’ theorist wins Nobel

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University of Chicago Professor Richard Thaler walks past portraits of previous Nobel winners. AFP

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – US academic Richard Thaler, who helped popularise the idea of “nudging” people towards doing what was best for them, won the 2017 Nobel Economics Prize yesterday for his work on how human nature affects supposedly rational markets. Influential in the field of behavioural economics, his research showed how traits such as lack of self-control and fear of losing what you already have prompt decisions that may not have the best outcome in the longer term. The Academy said: “Richard Thaler’s contributions have built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making… His empirical findings and theoretical insights have been instrumental in creating the new and rapidly expanding field of behavioural economics, which has had a profound impact on many areas of economic research and policy.”

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