Faculty & Research

Richard H. Thaler

Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, 2017

Thaler is celebrated for his contributions to behavioral economics, a field that bridges the gap between economics and psychology.

Hear Thaler share a couple of thoughts on the day he won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Watch the Video »

See a short recap of the event on October 9, 2017, at Chicago Booth honoring Thaler. Watch the Video »

Watch the entire October 9 ceremony honoring Thaler at the Charles M. Harper Center. Watch the Video »

  • 2017 Nobel Prize
  • About Thaler
  • News Coverage

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences to Richard H. Thaler for the important role he has played in the development of behavioral economics over the last four decades. Read the announcement.

In his work, Thaler “has incorporated psychologically realistic assumptions into analyses of economic decision-making,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. “By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control, he has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes.”

At Chicago Booth, Thaler is Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics. He is among nine Chicago Booth faculty members to receive the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences since 1968.

Richard H. Thaler is a pioneer in the field of behavioral science and economics. His research bridges the gap between economics and psychology. He investigates the implications of relaxing the standard economic assumption that everyone in the economy is rational and selfish, instead entertaining the possibility that some of the agents in the economy are sometimes human.

Thaler is the author of the best-selling books Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics (2015), and Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness (2008). He is renowned for creating easy-to-understand scenarios that show how human behavior often contradicts traditional economic logic.

Thaler was named in 2015 to Bloomberg Markets 50 Most Influential People; he also was the American Economic Association’s president for 2015.

Originally from New Jersey, Thaler attended Case Western Reserve University where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1967. Soon after, he attended the University of Rochester where he received a master’s degree in 1970 and a PhD in 1974.

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