The Nobel prize for economics to two American scholars who experimentally reproduced economic mechanisms, trying to understand if ordinary people behave rationally. The answer is no.
|Do economic operators behave rationally? According to economic theory, yes, but according to the research of the 2002 Nobel prizes, Kahneman and Smith, not always.|
They brought the economy to the laboratory. With this motivation the Nobel prize for economics was awarded to two American scholars, Daniel Kahneman, who is also an Israeli citizen, a professor at Princeton, and Vernon Smith, a professor at George Mason University.
The first studied the effect of psychology on economic mechanisms, the second the "alternative market mechanisms".
Economics has always been considered a non-experimental science, based more on the observation of reality than on controlled experiments. The existence of a Homo œconomicus, a mythical figure capable of behaving rationally in economic decisions, has always been the assumption on which all classical economic theories have been based. Kahneman and Smith set out on his tracks and experimentally reproduced the economic mechanisms, trying to understand if ordinary people behave exactly as theoretically established.
Psychology and economics. Daniel Kahneman is one of the pioneers of behavioral finance. He studied economic decisions in conditions of uncertainty, demonstrating that people tend to risk less when the gain is certain, and to risk more when the prospects for profit are lacking. An example studied by Kahneman is that of lotteries. Although theoretically the return on investment is high, the chances of winning are so small that buying the ticket is only a cost and the behavior is "irrational".
Smith instead reproduced the mechanisms of the rods in the laboratory. His experiments and conclusions, initially viewed with suspicion by other economists, were then used in the privatization processes of monopolies, especially those in the telecommunications sector.
(News updated 10 October 2002)