Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Behavioural Economics Books

One for internal folks. I am putting together a request list of books for behavioural economics to fill our library. Below is an old list (some of which we have). I am adding Animal Spirits, Nudge etc., I will add to this but please let me know if you have suggestions for the list. In particular, we want to make sure that good research-focused works on behavioural economics are available to students and staff here. Below is just to get the ball rolling and I will ask people individually also.

“Judgement Under Uncertainty: Heurisics and Biases” is a classic

“Advances in Behavioural Economics” is still the best for me in the relatively recent field

“Nudge” is the recent work by Thaler and Sunstein that has created a great deal of discussion

Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational” details much of his experimental work

Camerer’s “behavioural game theory” is a tougher trip but worth it

Exotic Preferences by Lowenstein is a great overview of his and others work on preference formation, emotion and decision making

Frey and Stutzer’s book on economics and psychology is below

On the Irish front, Peter Lunn has recently a book lately called Basic Instincts

An Introduction to Behavioural Economics by Nicolas Wilkinson  (textbook) 


Stephen Kinsella said...

I'm sure you've got 'Human Problem Solving' by Simon in there already, but if not, just buy everything the guy ever wrote.

Liam Delaney said...

thanks steve. some others below. help me out here folks. think of the generations of UCD students that will come to the "behavioural economics" section in the library and see all of these in front of them!

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, eds. (2000). Choices, Values, and Frames, Cambridge University Press and Russell Sage Foundation.

Thomas Gilovich, Dale Griffin, and Daniel Kahneman (Eds.) (2002). Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Leigh Caldwell said...

I have in my Amazon basket but haven't yet read:

Peter Diamond and Hannu Vartiainen, Behavioural Economics and its Applications

A recent popular book that I liked (I think only published in the US so far, but can be ordered online):

William Poundstone, Priceless

I haven't yet read:

Ori and Rom Brafman, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behaviour

And I read but didn't much rate:

Akerlof and Shiller, Animal Spirits

Liam Delaney said...

thanks Leigh: the Diamond book is certainly useful and I will put this one on the list. I have to say I liked Animal Spirits, even if the popularisation aspects (like Nudge) made me cringe a little in places. Ditto for Identity and Economics. I certainly have a preference for Journal of Economic Literature type summaries (e.g. frederick et al's time preference overview) than popular books. Often the pressure to say something punchy can produce jarring overselling. But having said that, the bighitters like Nudge, Animal Spirits and so on have been brilliant in getting decision makers aware of and interested in these ideas.

I should point out that I thinking a little more broadly than economics so if people have suggestions for behavioural economics books that cross into management science and so on, feel free to bounce them on. I have a few recommendations that I will post later.

Liam Delaney said...

Thanks to Dennis Dittrich for below:

At Geary Behavioural Economics Blog @LiamDelaneyUCD is looking for books on behavioral economics. Given my interest in the field, I would like to add a few books. I add a few on experimental economics, too, as both fields are close relatives.

First, let’s see what he already has on his list:
“Judgement Under Uncertainty: Heurisics and Biases” edited by Kahnemann, Slovic, and Tverky
“Choices, Values, and Frames” edited by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky
“Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgement.” edited by Thomas Gilovich, Dale Griffin, and Daniel Kahneman
These three books were indeed among the first books on behavioral economics that I bought myself at the beginning of my PhD. They are good collections of a number of great papers.

Next came:
“Advances in Behavioural Economics” edited by Camerer, Loewenstein, and Rabin
Camerer’s “Behavioral Game Theory”
“Exotic Preferences” by Lowenstein which really is (I have to agree) a great overview of his work on preference formation, emotion and decision making

Just before I moved to Bremen and joined Jacobs University the following two books gained a place on my book shelf
Behavioral Economics and its Applications edited by Peter Diamond and Hannu Vartiainen. This is a great overview of some of the most recent applications of behavioral economics and a prospective research agenda.
“An Introduction to Behavioral Economics” by Nicolas Wilkinson, a textbook that adds a historical context to the different topics it discusses. I liked it.

I have not read so far
Frey and Stutzer’s “Economics and Psychology: A Promising New Cross-Disciplinary Field”
Peter Lunn’s recent book “Basic Instincts: Human Nature and the New Economics”

On the pop-economics front @LiamDelaneyUCD lists
the popular “Nudge” by Thaler and Sunstein
and Dan Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational”

And in the comments are a number of books mentioned that I have not read so far:
William Poundstone’s “Priceless”
Ori and Rom Brafman, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behaviour
Akerlof and Shiller, Animal Spirits
All three of them are already on my to-read-shelf.

Last but not least, everything by Herbert Simon, and in particular “Human Problem Solving” is mentioned.

Ok. What can I add to this list?
First, two collections:
“The Construction of Preferences” edited by Lichtenstein an Slovic
“Quasi Rational Economics” by Richard Thaler.
Both are highly recommended!

On morals, ethics and (behavioral) economics:
“Moral Sentiment and Material Interest” by Gintis, Bowles, Boyd, and Fehr
“Explaining Social Behavior” by Jon Elster
“Moral Markets” edited by Paul Zak
“Moral and Markets” by Dan Friedman

On behavioral game theory
“Rational Decisions” by Ken Binmore
“The Bounds of Reason” by Herb Gintis

And finally, a few essential books on experimental economics:
“The Handbook of Experimental Economics” by Kagel and Roth
“Handbook of Experimental Economics Results” by Plott and Smith
“The Methodology of Experimental Economics” by Francesco Guala
“Experimental Economics – Rethinking the Rules” by Bardsley, Cubitt, Loomes, Moffatt, Starmer, and Sudgen

Liam Delaney said...

One brief response to Dennis's post is that I will make sure that all of Elster's works are available. We have most of them but works like "Ulysses and the Sirens" are absolute musts.

The moral philosophy angle is very well placed. We have not spoken much to people working on experimental moral questions but it is such a fascinating area that I am sure philosophy and psychology students would warmly welcome work like this in their curriculum,.

My courses have been available mostly to economics and psychology students but I get the occasional philosophy student through the door and I find the interaction very enjoyable.

Liam Delaney said...

I forgot to mention the book "Behavioural Finance by William Forbes". This is a real cracker of a textbook.

Also George Ainslie's book The Breakdown of Will.

Shiller's Irrational Exhuberance

Forbes reference frequently "Behaviour Finance: Insights into Irrational Minds and Markets" by Montier. On my reading list for the weekend.