The Winner's Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life Hardcover – 1 Dec 1991
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By unraveling a series of real-world puzzles with philosophical and practical implications, Thaler illuminates some fairly abstruse ideas in an entertaining way.... The best minds in economics today, as Thaler's provocative book suggests, are trying to supplement [insights into markets and prices] with a broader understanding of what makes people tick.--Christopher Farrell "Business Week "
Richard Thaler ... stylishly recounts empirical findings that skewer hitherto sheltered economic beliefs.--Lola L. Lopes "Contemporary Psychology "
By unraveling a series of real-world puzzles with philosophical and
practical implications, Thaler illuminates some fairly abstruse ideas in an
entertaining way.... The best minds in economics today, as Thaler's
provocative book suggests, are trying to supplement [insights into markets
and prices] with a broader understanding of what makes people tick.
--Christopher Farrell "Business Week "
Richard Thaler ... stylishly recounts empirical findings that skewer
hitherto sheltered economic beliefs.
--Lola L. Lopes "Contemporary Psychology "
"By unraveling a series of real-world puzzles with philosophical and practical implications, Thaler illuminates some fairly abstruse ideas in an entertaining way.... The best minds in economics today, as Thaler's provocative book suggests, are trying to supplement [insights into markets and prices] with a broader understanding of what makes people tick."--Christopher Farrell, "Business Week"
"Richard Thaler ... stylishly recounts empirical findings that skewer hitherto sheltered economic beliefs."--Lola L. Lopes, "Contemporary Psychology" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
Richard Thaler challenges the received economic wisdom by revealing many of the paradoxes that abound even in the most painstakingly constructed transactions. He presents literate, challenging, and often funny examples of such anomalies as why the winners at auctions are often the real losers - they pay too much and suffer the "winner's curse" - why gamblers bet on long shots at the end of a losing day, why shoppers will save on one appliance only to pass up the identical savings on another, and why sports fans who wouldn't pay more than $200 for a Super Bowl ticket wouldn't sell one they own for less than $400. He also demonstrates that markets do not always operate with the traplike efficiency we impute to them. Thaler argues that recognizing these sometimes topsy-turvy facts of economic behavior will compel economists, as well as those of us who live by their lights in our jobs and organizations, to adopt a more balanced view of human nature, one reflected in Adam Smith's professed belief that, despite our selfishness, there is something in our nature that prompts us to enjoy, even promote, the happiness of others. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As with other scientfic books unfortunately, it reads like a manual. If they author had just collaborated with a story teller you would have a great read.
He writes very well and this book is accessable to anyone.
You do not need any knowledge of finance or economics to read and enjoy this book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Over the last 10-15 years, however, a new school of economic analysis has emerged that challenges the rational choice model precisely on its predictive power. Empirical and laboratory work by cognitive psychologists and experimental economists has identified a growing number of anomalies in which behavior appears to systematically depart from that predicted by rational choice. Some of the more important examples of these decisionmaking biases include: ** Herd behavior: Why do lemmings leap off that cliff in Norway? What explains fads like Beanie Babies and Pokémon? Herd behavior occurs when a decisionmaker imitates the actions of others, while ignoring his own information and judgment with regard to the merits of the underlying decision. ** The status quo bias: All else being equal, decisionmakers favor maintaining the status quo rather than switching to some alternative state. The status quo bias can lead to market failure where decisionmakers' preference for the status quo perpetuates suboptimal practices. The extent to which behavioral economics calls into question more traditional modes of economic analysis remains sharply contested. At the very least, however, it seems clear that attention must be paid to the possibility that behavioral analysis sheds light on policy issues.
Richard Thaler is one of the foremost behavioral economists. In this (relatively) accessible introduction to this emerging literature, he collects (and revises) a series of articles he wrote for the Journal of Economic Perspectives. As such, there book reads more like an anthology than a coherent whole. Yet, each of the chapters is highly instructive. More important for the general reader, while the selections are all highly rigorous, Thaler steers clear of the sort of recreational mathematics that plagues so much of modern economics. Of particular interest to lay readers, I suspect, will be the chapters on investing. Thaler offers a highly insightful analysis of the various anomalies in capital market behavior that appear to be inconsistent with the standard economic assumptions built into the efficient capital markets hypothesis and the capital asset pricing model. In sum, a useful introduction to the literature.
The Winner's Curse lists a series of economic anomalies, the title being one of them. Thaler calls them anomalies since each defies 'classical' economic theory, generally the notion that markets are efficient and participants know what they are doing. Since few would accuse me of knowing what I'm doing when buying stocks, I find myself happily agreeing with Thaler's digs at Ivory tower economists.
The "winner's curse" anomaly is the notion that people who 'bid to win' at an auction, are often sorry that they won. My favorite anomalies included 'loss adversion' (we remember financial disasters, not successes), 'Intertemporal Choice' (our mental 'rate of return' analysis baffles the experts), 'the favorite factor' (yes, bet on the favorite!), and 'calendar effects' (forget about random walks down Wall Street).