Nobel Prize-winning economist says he's nervous about stock market


Much before U.S. economist Richard Thaler won Nobel prize for economics, the Narendra Modi government had put his famous theory in practice by dedicating a separate unit to it. Thaler popularised the idea of "nudge economics", which emphasises subtly guiding humans toward beneficial behaviours without forcing them to comply.

Kochov doesn't know Thaler personally but attended a summer seminar on behavioral economics that Thaler taught in Italy in 2010. Thaler is one of the founding fathers of behavioural economics, a field that shows that people often make irrational decisions, that don't serve their best interests. Thaler has always been known for challenging a foundational concept in mainstream economics, namely, that people by-and-large behave rationally when making purchasing and financial decisions.

Demonstrating his sense of humor, when asked at the Nobel news conference what he planned to do with his prize money (about $1.1 million), Thaler said he planned to spend it "as irrationally as possible". Following publication of the book, policymaking in several countries apparently has been influenced by this approach, not only in the area of retirement savings, but also in health care, education and other areas where current choices have long-term consequences.

David Laibson, chair of Harvard University's economics department, said many of Thaler's theories have been widely applied by business and government, aiming to get individuals to do a range of actions such as paying parking tickets and getting flu shots.

Thaler made a cameo appearance in the 2015 movie "The Big Short" about the credit and housing bubble collapse that led to the 2008 global financial crisis.

However, when Thaler was informed by a tweep that the BJP-led NDA government had chose to introduce Rs 2000 notes in a remonetisation effort, the Nobel laureate said, "Really?"

The last of the Nobel prizes to be awarded this year is something of an outlier — Alfred Nobels will didnt call for its establishment and it honors a science that many doubt is a science at all.