Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another Blog Shout Out...

Dan Gilbert is a psychology professor at Harvard and the author of Stumbling on Happiness. As a behavioral economist, I found this book to be very interesting- economists generally take for granted that people know what will make them happy (or give them utility, in econ speak), and this is the very notion that Gilbert is trying to dispel. I've included a link to his blog, which is generally on topics (loosely) related to the book, in the list to the right. Happy reading!

6 comments:

Angad said...

I read this book a few weeks ago and really liked it, but around at the end of the book Gilbert makes the assertion that individual goals and societal goals don't align well in a competitive or capitalist society. He tries to make the claim that the society wants people to go after material wealth or fame, which might not be in the best interest for an individual.

I'm not sure about this assertion, but other than that its a fantastic book.

Angad said...

Hmmm... since you are a behavioral economist may I ask you how you feel about "libertarian paternalism." Tyler Cowen has a interesting post on it at marginalrevolution.com.

http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2007/06/behavioral_econ.html

(The 6-th comment on this post by a blogger called John Thacker is also quite forceful.)

I think several economists have used this as a argument for government intervention but I'm not so sure. Thanks.

Jodi Beggs said...

In case you are curious, I posted a comment on the Cowan post that you mention. Doesn't specifically address the overall issue of libertarian paternalism, but I will get to that eventually.

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