October 9, 2017, a day of joy


CONGRATULATIONS to my long-time friend and colleague, Richard H. Thaler, Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago, who has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics

I first met Richard in September 1978 at Cornell University. He taught “Economic Foundations of Public Policy.” He introduced me to the path-breaking work of James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, Richard Posner, Anthony Downs, and others. Later, also, Richard introduced me to Amos Tversky, Daniel Kahneman, Cornell ice hockey, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (, and aquavit. In turn, I brought the limits of “modern finance” to his attention. Later, Robert Shiller, Hersh Shefrin, Meir Statman joined in the effort that in due course became known as behavioral finance.

“Behavioral finance” is only one of the assets in Thaler’s portfolio. In my view, his most noteworthy, momentous research article remains “Toward a positive theory of consumer choice,” published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (1980). This article, more than any other, has won him immortality and glory. It was the beginning of the modern behavioral revolution in social science.

Werner De Bondt