The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Behavioural economics

To discuss: the pointlessness of behavioural economics as modified classical economics, when large data applications make this a predictive science

A new paradigm for the introductory course in economics:

Our intro courses fail to reflect the dramatic advances in economics – concerning information problems and strategic interactions, for example – since Samuelson’s paradigm-setting 1948 textbook. Missing, too, is any sustained engagement with new problems we now confront and on which economics has important insights for public policy – climate change, innovation, instability and growing inequality amongst them. This column introduces a free online interactive text – now used as the standard intro at UCL, Sciences Po, and Toulouse School of Economics – which responds.

Collective behavioural economics

In financial markets we have some elegant models of collective human behaviour in, e.g. Black-Scholes formulae etc.

In more general contexts, what do we do? A population of mis-specified Bayesian learners? A bunch of partially informed voters? Distributed learners?

Things to think about here: Bounded rationality, rational inattention, institutions as stable orbits in behavioural systems, devious negotiation strategies …

Individual models

See marketing psychology.

Risk Perception

A fecund sub-field. See the risk perception page.


Shalizi, C. R.(2009) Dynamics of Bayesian updating with dependent data and misspecified models. Electronic Journal of Statistics, 3, 1039–1074. DOI.