People are less likely to think it's immoral to walk away from their home if they know others who have done so. And if enough people do it, the stigma begins to erode.

Richard Thaler

Richard Thaler

Profession: Economist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

We all need a lot of humility, and especially about the economy.

I don't think it says anywhere in the Bible that tithing should be calculated on a before-tax basis.

We humans actually need help controlling our impulses - nudges.

'Fun money' is another thing that makes no sense to traditional economists. Because there's just money; there's no 'fun money.' It's all supposed to be the same.

The ability of businesses to monitor our behavior is already a fact of life, and it isn't going away. Of course we must protect our privacy rights. But if we're smart, we'll also use the data that is being collected to improve our own lives.

Claiming that Social Security benefits are safe may sound naive, but my view is actually quite cynical. I believe that as long as the elderly continue to vote in large numbers, no Congress will renege on promised payouts for those already eligible to receive benefits.

You go out on the practice range, and something kind of clicks, and you start hitting the ball very crisply. And you're sure that you've found it, the holy grail - that all you have to do is hold your hand in a certain way. Then you go out on the golf course, and it's completely disappeared.

When it comes to assessing the chances of some complicated combination of events, gut feelings are pretty much useless.

As both a consumer and producer of newspaper articles, I have no beef with pay walls. But before signing up, I read the fine print.

If you're not putting enough away for emergencies or retirement, making commitments in advance, such as signing up for payroll withholding, can help.

Arthur Laffer's idea, that lowering taxes could increase revenues, was logically correct. If tax rates are high enough, then people will go to such lengths to avoid them that cutting taxes can increase revenues. What he was wrong about was in thinking that income tax rates were already so high in the 1970s that cutting them would raise revenues.

If the government can manage to collect and release personal information in a secure and useful way, so can private companies, which will empower consumers to become better shoppers.

I am all for trying to teach household finance in schools, starting as early as possible. And when it comes to high school, I think learning about compound interest is at least as important as trigonometry or memorizing the names of all 50 state capitals.

The lesson for businesses is you are dealing with real people. Those are your customers, those are your employees, those are your bosses, and the better you understand how real people tick, the more successfully you will be able to accomplish your goals.