The Atlantic’s “Take” on Mainstream and Behavioural Economics

By: Mark Thornton

The Atlantic’s take is that Mainstream economics has many problems, as others have noted. They think that college students should be exposed to some behavioral economics in their economics classes. Their conclusion is thus:

Making behavioral economics compulsory isn’t a cure-all for the ills of the economics discipline, but doing so would go a long way in encouraging students to think about building economic models around actual human beings rather than around the caricature that is Homo economicus. If there’s a deeper lesson to come out of the behavioral revolution, it’s that the vagaries of human behavior make it very difficult to model as a pure science, and economists have a lot to learn from other disciplines, including other social sciences and the humanities. This may mean a dose of humility for economists, but it would enrich both the education that their students receive and their prospects of making positive change in the real world.

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