Economía del comportamiento: pasado, presente y futuro

Behavioral economics: Past, present, and future

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Richard H. Thaler


La “economía del comportamiento” intenta incorporar ideas de otras ciencias sociales, en especial de la psicología, para enriquecer el modelo estándar. El interés en la psicología del comportamiento humano es un retorno de la economía a sus orígenes. Adam Smith aludió a conceptos clave como la aversión a la pérdida, el exceso de confianza y el autocontrol. La economía del comportamiento encontró resistencia entre economistas que preferían mantener el modelo neoclásico estándar y argumentaban que la psicología se podía ignorar. Este ensayo muestra que esos argumentos han sido rechazados teórica y empíricamente, y que se deber seguir adelante. El nuevo enfoque debería incluir dos tipos de teorías: modelos normativos que caractericen la solución óptima de problemas específicos y modelos descriptivos que capten el comportamiento humano real. Estos últimos incorporarán variables llamadas factores supuestamente irrelevantes, que ayudarán a mejorar el poder explicativo de los modelos económicos.

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