One day economics and psychology conference

The 6th in the series of conferences on economics and psychology in Ireland will take place on November 29th in Maynooth co-organised by Liam Delaney (Stirling) and Richard Roche (NUIM). The previous five (details here) have been very energetic workshops including keynote talks from John O’Doherty (Caltech), Arie Kapteyn (RAND now USC), David Laibson (Harvard), David Halpern (UK Cabinet Office) and Robert Sugden (East Anglia). The provisional programme for the 29th November event is available on this link and it will be finalised in the coming weeks. The event will take place in the Glenroyal hotel which is adjacent to the Maynooth campus.  Directions and any other details will be sent to the RSVP list. Some reading lists from previous posts are available here.

If you wish to attend please sign up here. Students interested in the overlap of economics and psychology are welcome.

12 replies on “One day economics and psychology conference”

I misread that at first, and thought the list of past luminaries was the prospective line-up; I nearly lost it at the thought of seeing all those guys interact. But after checking out the actual line-up, I am very nearly as excited. Can’t wait.

This looks very interesting, and I wish I could go
Something Ive wondered about the area of behavioural/cognitive economics (from my laymans reading on the subject) is, is it still working (implicitly, explicitly) through a rationalist framework, if you know what I mean? Does it still accept (though complicate) the idea that people generally behave rationally, and if so does it do this to make the research feasible, relevant to policy etc or is this because this is what the research on human cognition actually says?
Does this make sense as a query?

Somewhat relatedly, Im in the middle of reading Herbert Simons old book on on Artificial intelligence, and Im wondering has anyone ever written a paper examining how an economy might function in a post human world?
I know this probably doesnt have many practical benefits, but bear with me..

What if we could program computers to behave exactly as rationalist assumptions 101 would assume, and then outsource the decision making process (pensions, financial investments etc) to computers
btw this might sound a little ridiculous but Im genuinaly curious as to whether theres research in this area..

The precise definition of rational that economists use: preferences are complete and transitive. That means you can rank your preferences (e.g. over A, B, and C), and if A>B and B>C, A>C. That’s it.

Behavioural economics often incorporate this but permit, for example, your actions change if you’re automatically enrolled in B. So some see behavioural as a departure from modern economics, and some see it as a real-world extension.

I don’t think there is necessarily a huge contradiction between BE and rationality. The former is embedding decision making in a richer, and arguably more plausible, model of the mind. For example various heuristics may seem irrational but given limited resources such as cognitive effort their use may be optimal. But we shouldn’t fetishize rationality. That would be crazy.

Thanks Edna and Kevin, that helps clarify it

A further question to my AI ones above, can the singularity coexist with JJ Kavanagh being unable to organise wifi on their buses?

Mark Twain is reputed to have said: “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

Daniel Kahneman has highlighted the distinction between intuition and reasoning.

In economics when an assumed fact dovetails with intuition, even if debunked later, it is likely to endure.

The sense of grievance that Germany refuses to refund Ireland the cost of rescuing its failed banking system because German banks funded the recklessness, will not change despite recent research by Central Bank economists, which suggests it was mainly the British as usual, were the culprits.

Another common misperception about the Anglo Bank rescue cost that people like Fintan O’Toole has called ‘odious debt’ is that it was mainly a bailout of depositors and in early 2009 it was hardly a credible option to tell bank depositors to take a hike.

What can dress up exaggeration and selective use of data as fact, was vividly illustrated this week by the ministerial launch of a promotional brochure produced by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland on US investment in Ireland.

Richard Bruton, enterprise minister, launched the brochure and because it came from an organisation representing US firms, it had credibility.

Data distorted by massive tax avoidance — no mention that US firms in Ireland are among the most profitable in the world — was used to make a series of audacious claims that got prominent attention in the mainstream media, absent fact checking.

An investment inflow includes cash ‘trapped’ that is technically overseas, which may be either in US banks in say New York or in overseas accounts of US banks.

In 2008-2012, there was more US investment in Ireland than in the previous 58 years, the chamber claimed

Pity that one actual fact was ignored: American firms added 3,300 full-time permanent jobs in the period since 2007 while overall, FDI jobs fell by 3,700.

Economic View
Financial Literacy, Beyond the ClassroomBy RICHARD H. THALER
Published: October 5, 2013

“A popular approach to this problem is to work harder to improve financial literacy — for example, by including household finance in the basic high school curriculum. One reason to think this solution will have big payoffs is that people who are more knowledgeable about financial matters, as measured by a test, perform better at tasks like saving for retirement and staying out of debt. This may seem a straightforward argument in support of financial literacy courses. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

Comments are closed.