Daily Archives: Jan 11, 2020 at 08:53 am EST

Book Bits | 11 January 2020

Risk, Choice, and Uncertainty: Three Centuries of Economic Decision-Making
By George G. Szpiro
Summary via publisher (Columbia U. Press)
At its core, economics is about making decisions. In the history of economic thought, great intellectual prowess has been exerted toward devising exquisite theories of optimal decision making in situations of constraint, risk, and scarcity. Yet not all of our choices are purely logical, and so there is a longstanding tension between those emphasizing the rational and irrational sides of human behavior. One strand develops formal models of rational utility maximizing while the other draws on what behavioral science has shown about our tendency to act irrationally. In Risk, Choice, and Uncertainty, George G. Szpiro offers a new narrative of the three-century history of the study of decision making, tracing how crucial ideas have evolved and telling the stories of the thinkers who shaped the field.

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