University of Rochester

EVENT: Lecture by Richard H. Thaler, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, on the psychology of decision making

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, in room 407 of Schlegel Hall on the University of Rochester's River Campus.

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public

January 10, 2003

Richard H. Thaler, an expert in behavioral economics and finance, will deliver the 42nd annual Gilbert Memorial Lecture at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, in room 407 of Schlegel Hall at the University of Rochester.

For his talk, "Doing Economics Without Homo Economicus," Thaler will examine the psychology of decision making and the effects that the constraints set by the model of Homo Economicus have on economic analyses. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Thaler is Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. He received master's and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Rochester. His research in the field of behavioral economics and finance, and the psychology of decision making have yielded many published papers. He also is the author of Quasi-Rational Economics (1991); The Winner's Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life (1991); and editor of Advances in Behavioral Finance (1993).

Homo Economicus, or "Economic Man," is an economic model utilized by many behavioral economists. It assumes individuals are endowed with perfect (or abnormally high) rationality, self-interest, and knowledge. According to Thaler and others, the model is a flawed representation of human nature, and is utilized to simplify economic analyses and manipulate results.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Thaler is director of the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago, where he teaches managerial decision making and workshop in behavioral science. He also is co-director of the Behavioral Economics Project, which is funded by the Russell Sage Foundation.

The Gilbert Memorial Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Department of Economics at the University of Rochester, was established in 1959 in memory of Donald W. Gilbert, professor of economics, vice president for University development, and provost at the University. A central idea for the series is to illuminate the practical side of economics and to show the role of economics in contemporary policy debates.