Synopses & Reviews
Of the twenty most costly catastrophes since 1970, more than half have occurred since 2001. Is this an omen of what the 21st century will be? How might we behave in this new, uncertain and more dangerous environment? Will our actions be rational or irrational?
A select group of scholars, innovators, and Nobel Laureates was asked to address challenges to rational decision making both in our day-to-day life and in the face of catastrophic threats such as climate changes, natural disasters, technological hazards, and human malevolence. At the crossroads of decision sciences, behavioral and neuro-economics, psychology, management, insurance, and finance, their contributions aim to introduce readers to the latest thinking and discoveries.
The Irrational Economist challenges the conventional wisdom about how to make the right decisions in the new era we have entered. It reveals a profound revolution in thinking as understood by some of the greatest minds in our day, and underscores the growing role and impact of economists and other social scientists as they guide our most important personal and societal decisions.
“The Irrational Economist challenges conventional wisdoms, overturns traditional economic models, and brings to light new discoveries in decision sciences: The result is a profound revolution in thinking. This book will help us cope better with the myriad of important decisions under uncertainty that we face.”
Richard M. Smith, Chairman, Newsweek
“In The Irrational Economist some of the world’s foremost economists and decision scientists analyze how we make decisions under pressure—and offer thought-provoking ideas about how to improve the process. The result is important and remarkably timely.”
Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research
“Dealing with extra-ordinary situations that cannot be quantified on the basis of past experience is one of the key problems facing investors, business executives, and government officials. Michel-Kerjan and Slovic brilliantly rally insights from an outstanding group of authors: There is something here for any reader.”
Matthew Bishop, U.S. Business Editor,The Economist and author of The Road From Ruin: How to Revive Capitalism and Put America Back on Top
“At a time of transformative choices, we all need guidance, if not a radical shift in perspective. The Irrational Economist is a terrific book that will change the way you make decisions.”
Justin Fox, Editor-at-large,TIME and author of The Myth of the Rational Market
“The future is uncertain and filled with risks. So what do we do about it? Think of this book as a jam session in which the most virtuosic thinkers from economics and a few other social sciences try to answer that essential question. A great performance.”
“Compelling…. This collection is an intriguing look at the limitations of human knowledge regarding its own nature, especially relevant for the current moment of economic turmoil”
At a time of huge choices, it has never been more important to make the right decisions. Acclaimed experts explore decision-making and irrationality in a catastrophic world
About the Author
teaches at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is Managing Director of the Wharton Risk Center, which for 25 years has been at the forefront of research into the management of extreme events. Honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos), he advises on these issues for top decision makers around the world.
Paul Slovic is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and founder and President of Decision Research. He is the author of several praised books on human judgment and risk analysis, and is a recipient the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association.