The Economics Nobel Prize was awarded to Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business — my alma mater. Richard Thaler’s research has transformed the field of economics and public policy. Here is an example of one of the many ways that behavioral economics has changed our lives.
IRS Behavioral Insights Toolkit
The Internal Revenue Service recently published a “Behavioral Insights Toolkit” for its employees to incorporate behavioral insights into their work. The Toolkit describes how behavioral insights can help the IRS achieve its mission. The Toolkit reflects the results of the research of Richard Thaler and others in the field of behavioral economics, which addresses how real people make decisions. The IRS is looking for ways to use behavioral insights to improve taxpayer compliance, detection of wrongdoing, and interactions with taxpayers.
For more about behavioral economics and how we really make decisions, check out Misbehaving (Thaler 2015), Nudge (Thaler & Sunstein 2008), Thinking Fast and Slow (Kahnemann 2011).
The Toolkit is available here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/17rpirsbehavioralinsights.pdf