Risky Decisions: How Mathematical Paradoxes and Other Conundrums Have Shaped Economic Science
George Szpiro, Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Date & time: Thursday, 03 December 2020 at 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Abstract: At its core, economics is about making decisions. In the history of economic thought, great intellectual prowess has been exerted toward devising exquisite theories of optimal decision making in situations of constraint, risk, and scarcity. Yet not all of our choices are purely logical, and so there is a longstanding tension between those emphasizing the rational and irrational sides of human behavior. One strand develops formal models of rational utility maximizing while the other draws on what behavioral science has shown about our tendency to act irrationally.
In this talk I will give examples of mathematical paradoxes and psychological conundrums that have led to advances in economic science. I will challenge the audience with questions about how to make decisions, and thereby show how people who believe themselves to be rational can be led astray