Monday, December 31, 2007

Econ Talk for the Day

The Psychology of Saving and Investment by David Laibson via CEP Blog

  • Lecture I: Intertemporal Choice
    How do people value delayed rewards? Is a Snickers bar tomorrow psychologically valued as much as a Snickers bar today? How can social scientists measure and model these time preferences? How has neuroscience and neuroimaging provided new insights about these intertemporal tradeoffs?

  • Lecture II: Investment for Dummies

  • How do institutions affect the investment decisions that people make? Why do defaults and other seemingly irrelevant institutional features dominate people’s financial choices? How are these empirical and theoretical findings influencing both conceptual academic debates and practical policy debates? What financial system should we establish if investors are imperfectly rational?

  • Lecture III: Sticky Biases and the Curse of Education
    Why does the marketplace fail to eliminate behavioral biases? Why are there insufficient incentives for firms to compete by educating biased consumers and thereby winning their business? Indeed, why does the marketplace sometimes augment behavioral biases? How should economists model market equilibria in which rational firms interact with imperfectly rational consumers?

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