Season 9, Episode 2

Listen now:

“There was an economist once early in my career who said to me, ‘If you’re right, what am I supposed to do? What I know how to do is solve optimization problems.’ And I said, ‘You know, really I don’t know. I’m sure you’ll think of something.’”(Photo: Bengt Nyman/flickr)

You wouldn’t think you could win a Nobel Prize for showing that humans tend to make irrational decisions. But that’s what Richard Thaler has done. The founder of behavioral economics describes his unlikely route to success; his reputation for being lazy; and his efforts to fix the world — one nudge at a time.

To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “People Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard.