Discussion Paper Details

Please find the details for DP11786 in an easy to copy and paste format below:

Full Details   |   Bibliographic Reference

Full Details

Title: Behavioral Economics and the Atheoretical Style

Author(s): Ran Spiegler

Publication Date: January 2017


Programme Area(s): Industrial Organization

Abstract: Behavioral economics is perceived by many to be part of a general shift in the culture of economics toward a less theoretical style. I present a critical discussion of certain manifestations of this trend: a preference for an anecdotal style of exposition (illustrated by Akerlof and Shiller's Phishing for Phools), reduced-form modeling (illustrated by Campbell's Ely Lecture), and the method of capturing psychological forces using parametric modifications of conventional functional forms. I argue that the subject of "psychology and economics" is intrinsically foundational, and that a pure-theory component is essential for it to realize its transformative potential.

For full details and related downloads, please visit:

Bibliographic Reference

Spiegler, R. 2017. 'Behavioral Economics and the Atheoretical Style'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.