How human behavior impacts the economy

Marketplace - May 14, 2015 - "In the 1940s, economics started getting highly mathematical," says Richard H. Thaler, founding father of behavioral economics and a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "It was basically because economists weren’t smart enough to write down models of real behavior, that they started writing down models of highly rational behavior – and they kind of forgot about humans." (Interview also picked up by NPR affiliates nationwide.)

How a Bowl of Cashews Changed the Way You Save for Retirement

Money Magazine - May 11, 2015 - As young academic in the 1970s, the economist Richard Thaler began compiling what he calls "the List," a collection of the everyday ways in which real people fail to act as economic theory predicts. ... Thaler, 69, is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

In 'Misbehaving,' an Economics Professor Isn’t Afraid to Attack His Own

New York Times - May 05, 2015 - The economist Richard H. Thaler has written a sly and somewhat subversive history of his profession. ... [R]ather than being a disgruntled former employee or otherwise easily marginalized whistle-blower, Mr. Thaler recently took the reins as president of the American Economic Association (and still teaches at Chicago's graduate business program, the Booth School of Business).

Unless You Are Spock, Irrelevant Things Matter in Economic Behavior

New York Times - May 11, 2015 - Richard H. Thaler is a professor of economics and behavioral science at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He is the author of "Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics," from which this article is adapted, and which will be published this month by W.W. Norton. (Op-ed also appears on Builder Online.)

'Game of Thrones' Leadership Lessons for the Office

Wall Street Journal - May 04, 2015 - Speakeasy talked with three experts in management and business—all familiar with the show—to see what can be learned from these styles when applied to a corporate environment: Aimee Cohen, an author and speaker who has been a career expert for more than 20 years; Waverly Deutsch, clinical professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business; and Erich Dierdorff, professor of management at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business. (Article also quoted in Philadelphia Magazine piece.)

Is the U.S. Trade Deficit a Sign of Economic Strength?

Bloomberg TV - May 05, 2015 - University of Chicago's John Cochrane discusses the U.S. trade deficit and outlook for the U.S. economy with Bloomberg's Alix Steel and Lisa Abramowicz on "Street Smart."

'Lean Startup' Revolution Sweeps Through Business Schools

Poets and Quants - May 14, 2015 - "We didn't call it lean startup, but we've been doing this for almost 20 years in our New Venture Challenge: it's the process of iterating and pivoting," says Ellen Rudnick, executive director of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "We would tell our students, 'Do not sit at your computer and create a business plan that's kind of pie in the sky.'" Students have been instructed to "street test" their venture ideas, covering everything from pricing to supply chain to distribution, Rudnick says. "We have been really focusing on getting out there to talk to people.

We're All Smart. And Dumb. Sometimes.

Bloomberg View - May 13, 2015 - Richard Thaler, one of the founders of the field of behavioral economics, has written a book about the history of the subject he helped create.

Book Of The Week: 'Misbehaving' By Richard H Thaler

Esquire - May 07, 2015 - Richard H Thaler, now a professor at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the co-author of 2008's Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, was one of the first people to pipe up. He had a hunch that people don't quite behave how economists would like: that we don't always recognise what's in our best interests, and we don’t always do what, to a Spock-like economist, makes obvious sense.

An economist shows how an overgrown finance industry poisons society

Los Angeles Times - May 12, 2015 - It's rare for a leading economist, especially one from deep inside the finance sector itself, to weigh in with a resounding "yes!" But that's the conclusion of University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales, who states bluntly that there's nothing in theory or practice "to support the notion that all the growth of the financial sector in the last 40 years has been beneficial to society."

The High Cost of Expensive Townhouse

New York Magazine - May 11, 2015 - A new study by Chang-Tai Hsieh of the University of Chicago and Enrico Moretti of the University of California, Berkeley, calculates that the United States economy would be nearly 10 percent bigger if just three cities — New York, San Jose, and San Francisco — had loosened their constraints on the supply of housing and let more people in during the past few decades. Let that sink in: 10 percent bigger.

New York and San Francisco’s insane housing prices are dragging down US growth

Quartz - May 12, 2015 - What the economists behind this new research—University of California, Berkeley's Enrico Moretti and University of Chicago's Chang-Tai Hsieh—propose is finding a way to get more workers into these special places to boost the economy, even if we’re not quite sure what makes Silicon Valley so productive. "If some workers were moved from Brownsville to San Jose, aggregate GDP would increase because more workers would have access to whatever productive factor generates high productivity in San Jose," they write.

Here's How Much New York and San Francisco's Tight Housing Markets Are Hurting the Economy

Bloomberg - May 07, 2015 - Reducing land-use constraints in high-productivity New York, San Francisco and San Jose to the level of the median city would expand their labor forces, boosting U.S. gross domestic product by 9.5 percent, according to estimates from a new study by the University of California at Berkeley's Enrico Moretti and the University of Chicago's Chang-Tai Hsieh. (Article also appears on Yahoo! Finance.)

In the NFL — as in business — hiring is hard

Chicago Tribune - May 03, 2015 - In his new book "Misbehaving," to be released this month, Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler, a founder of the field of behavioral economics, addresses many ways people miscalculate and make poor decisions on the people they hire. (Article also appears on; as well as in the Miami Herald and several other newspapers.)

This Is How People Judge How Smart You Are

Time Magazine - May 06, 2015 - A new study from researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business suggest that when giving a pitch, an interviewee’s voice—not what they’ve written down—is what’s most convincing when it comes to gauging intellect. ... "Our data does not show that appearances don’t matter," says study author Nicholas Epley, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Smokers More Likely To Quit If Their Own Cash Is On The Line

NPR - May 13, 2015 - "Companies may have a concern that if they sign people into this kind of a wellness program and [the employees] lose that deposit, they're going to feel really badly," says Oleg Urminsky, at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. (Featured nationally on NPR affiliates.)

Some Consumers Don’t Take the Bait When Economists Project Inflation - May 12, 2015 - When consumers expect inflation, they go shopping, according to new research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. That would mean, in theory, that with the Fed to raise interest rates later this year and inflation to move in tandem, consumers would increase their purchasing now and give the economy a healthy shot in the arm. "Central banks around the world try to raise inflation expectations via unconventional monetary policy measures to increase spending," University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor Michael Weber said in a released statement.

The Chicago Stock Exchange's big idea to slow down trading

Crain's Chicago Business - May 14, 2015 - "What's great about an auction is that it allows for competition on price, instead of competition on speed," said Eric Budish, an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business who has written about the notion of auctions in the markets.

Behind the Chronic Weakness of Capital Investment

Wall Street Journal - May 11, 2015 - A number of studies—including one at Stanford led by Nicholas Bloom and Scott Baker, and at the University of Chicago led by Steven Davis—have employed sophisticated models to chart what is seen as a secular trend in growth of uncertainty that is tied to growth in government regulation, spending, taxes and political polarization. Global security trends and major shifts in monetary policy probably also contribute to uncertainty.

The NFL Draft Is Irrational

Chicago Magazine - May 01, 2015 - Awhile back, the prominent University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler and psych/econ professor Cade Massey of Penn's Wharton School ... used the NFL draft to investigate this. And for obvious reasons: It's a small, narrowly defined market with incredibly high stakes, and after it we get really good data.

Retirement Planning Needs a Better UX

Harvard Business Review - May 04, 2015 - Let me explain with an experiment Professor Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago and I conducted on The experiment itself was straightforward: we asked two groups of Morningstar subscribers to allocate their retirement savings among eight different funds. The first group was presented with a website that had four blank lines on it, although there was a highlighted link if people wanted to select additional funds.

2015 20 In Their 20s

Crain's Chicago Business - May 12, 2015 - Katlin Smith, CEO, Simple Mills, 26. A few years ago, Katlin Smith arrived at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business with a solid product and modest goals. She had developed a tasty gluten-free muffin mix without preservatives and additives. She thought her company, Simple Mills, could be a player in the natural foods market. But when clinical professor of entrepreneurship Waverly Deutsch tasted—and loved—Smith's muffins, she counseled her to think big. "Be the Betty Crocker for the 21st century!" Deutsch says she told her. "I coach women to think bigger. And Katlin responded to that." Last year, Smith won Booth's New Venture Challenge, which netted her and her teammates $30,000.

One in Five Big Companies Still Puts Your 401(k) Money in Its Own Stock

Bloomberg - May 15, 2015 - It's an "extreme example of poor diversification," the behavioral economists Shlomo Benartzi of UCLA and Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago have written, echoing the warnings of many other economists and retirement experts. "Workers risk losing both their jobs and the bulk of their retirement savings all at once." (Article also appears on Yahoo! Finance.)

Real tech bros: Flavins bring family ties to Chicago startup scene

Chicago Tribune - May 13, 2015 - Pat Flavin is the executive director of health tech incubator Matter, and brother John, 46, is the executive director of the Chicago Innovation Exchange, a startup and commercialization hub at the University of Chicago. ... Scott Meadow, a private-equity professional and professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, said family businesses and the emotional baggage they often carry can be a tough sell, but the Flavins are different.

New Breed of Endowment Managers Beats Harvard at Its Own Game

Bloomberg - May 15, 2015 - "There's an emerging new breed of endowment stars," says Steven Kaplan, a finance professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Yale and Harvard "figured it out first, but it's hard to maintain an advantage."

Carly Fiorina fights back against HP layoff claims, says she doubled size of company - May 11, 2015 - Stephen Morrissette, a business professor at the University of Chicago, noted that the fact that so much of the revenue growth was a result of the merger casts some shade on Fiorina's claim. "Most executives would likely not use the phrasing 'doubled the size of the company' to describe their performance if the increase was all or mostly due to an acquisition," Morrissette said. (Article also appeared on The Daily Beast, the Tampa Bay Times, in other articles.)

What Makes a School Successful?

Newsweek - May 05, 2015 - They and other prominent economists, among them Amir Sufi at the University of Chicago, are more focused on the kind of data-driven research that results in effective policy interventions rather than on theoretical models that may or may not translate into actual policy directives for the real world.

In a sea of bias, independent reporting remains an anchor

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - May 10, 2015 - In the most thorough study of newspaper bias to date, a 2006 survey by the University of Chicago found that the political slant of 417 daily newspapers — including ours — closely matched the political makeup of the markets they served. Economists Matthew Gentzkow of the University of Chicago and Jesse Shapiro of Brown found that Journal Sentinel news coverage was smack in the middle politically — right beside the citizens of our overall metropolitan area.

8 reasons — and one powerful video — show why racism is real in America

Washington Post - May 01, 2015 - 1. Black sounding names are 50 percent less likely to be called back by those reviewing job applications. In a 2002 study, Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan of the University of Chicago mailed thousands of job applications to reviewers that were identical except for the names. They found that applications with white-sounding names like Emily and Brendan were much more likely to be answered than identical resumes from black-sounding names like Lakisha and Jamal. (Includes Brave New Films video that also references Marianne Bertrand's research; it was posted April 29 and has nearly 700,000 views so far. Video also appears on Buzzfeed, which mentions affiliation and links to research; Huffington Post, which links to research but does not identify authors; Time, which mentions affiliation.)

Dancing Toward Health

Huffington Post - May 06, 2015 - John Michael Schert started out as a dancer with the American Ballet Theater. He is now at the Chicago Booth School of Business as a visiting scholar looking at the under-utilization of artists in the workplace and the value they can provide to the work environment.

World Business Chicago taps Mark Tebbe as new ChicagoNext chairman

Chicago Tribune - May 12, 2015 - ChicagoNext, World Business Chicago's tech council, said Tuesday it has named entrepreneur Mark Tebbe as its new chairman. Tebbe, an operating executive at private equity fund Lake Capital, serves on executive committees for tech incubator 1871 and venture collaborative TechNexus. He’s also an entrepreneur in residence and adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. (Crain's Chicago Business and Chicago Inno also profiled Mark Tebbe.)

Google HR Boss: We Don't Care Where You Went To College

Forbes - May 05, 2015 - Researchers at the University of Chicago found in a 2003 study that job applicants with white-sounding names like Emily or Brendan were 50 percent more likely to get an initial interview than job applicants with black-sounding names, like Lakisha or Jamal. (Article cites and links to research by Marianne Bertrand.)

Bad jobs news, good stock news: Jim Paulsen

CNBC - May 08, 2015 - Austan Goolsbee, former Obama administration chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, provided a different interpretation. "Now you're going to hear a lot of discussion again about the Fed," the University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor said. "Maybe [the March number] was just an aberration, and so the Fed will act." (Article also appears on Yahoo! Finance.)

The Conservative Case for a Carbon Tax: Q&A With Jerry Taylor

Huffington Post - May 05, 2015 - Right-of-center academic economists such as John Cochrane and Richard Posner at the University of Chicago, Martin Feldstein and Greg Mankiw at Harvard University, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, Glenn Hubbard at Columbia University and George Shultz at the Hoover Institution are also in our camp. Other conservative and libertarian thought-leaders who support the idea include supply-side economics guru Art Laffer.

For Stanford's Business School, Bay Area's Pull Is Mixed Blessing

Wall Street Journal - May 07, 2015 - Having too great a concentration of alumni can make an institution overly "dependent on the success and growth of business of that particular geography," and vulnerable to a downturn, said Tracy McCabe, executive director for alumni relations at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and chairman of the advisory council of the Association of Business School Alumni Professionals.

Citizenship for Sale

Slate - May 14, 2015 - Gary Becker, the late University of Chicago economist and Nobel laureate, once proposed that the United States should sell citizenship to foreigners for a flat fee. The EB-5 program approximates Becker’s proposal, albeit in the most inefficient way possible. Becker argued that citizenship is a scarce good just like tomatoes and hula hoops, and is thus subject to the law of supply and demand.

Ritholtz's Reads: Test Driving a Petrol Car

Bloomberg View - May 06, 2015 - I must be fully on West Coast time, because these morning reads are coming out later and later each day: ... Why words are the new numbers (Chicago Booth School of Business).


It's hard to make 'good' decisions

LiveMint - May 15, 2015 - A small group of business leaders was part of Mint's Breakfast With CEOs event on 16 April 2015 at ITC Maurya’s Dum Pukht restaurant in Delhi. They were in conversation with a person who is known as the father of behavioral economics—Richard Thaler. The Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and co-author of global bestseller Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness has challenged the status quo among Economics academics to prove that the world is not made of Econs, or perfectly rational people analyzing reams of information to perfectly maximize utility, but of Humans, or real people who take irrational decisions and are susceptible to biases.

What's wrong with finance

The Economist - May 01, 2015 - In this year's presidential address to the American Financial Association, Luigi Zingales asked "Does Finance Benefit Society?". ... In his new book "Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics", Richard Thaler uses a different term: econs. He writes that "compared to this fictional world of econs, humans do a lot of misbehaving, and that means that economic models make a lot of bad predictions." ... In their book "House of Debt", published in 2014, Atif Mian and Amir Sufi, showed that American regions with lots of highly-levered homeowners suffered more in the recession than areas where buyers had borrowed less. ... Raghuram Rajan, the economist who is now India’s central bank governor, called this "Let them eat credit."

More Kirk than Spock

The Economist - May 07, 2015 - In his new book "Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics", Richard Thaler describes his struggles to persuade mainstream economists of all this. The results of behavioural research were at first dismissed as trivial, or the consequences of unrealistic laboratory experiments. It was argued that in the real world, ordinary people might not always think straight but that the professionals who make the big decisions would. Mr Thaler shows neatly, however, that the coaches and owners of professional American football teams, for instance, make consistent errors in the yearly "draft" to pick new players, placing far too much emphasis on their first choices.

This video shows how the life of a white person compares to the life of a black person

The Independent - May 01, 2015 - Using data from a University of Chicago study, it shows that even really controlled tested such as changing the name on a CV to a 'black-sounding' name can make a scarily big difference, making the applicant 50% less likely to get a call back. (Includes Brave New Films video that also references Marianne Bertrand's research; it was posted April 29 and has nearly 700,000 views so far. Mirror article also has video embed, but does not specifically mention researcher or affiliation.)

The problem with sexed-up statistics

Financial Times - May 08, 2015 - Solve the puzzle and win a Dom Reilly bag: Tim Harford will be interviewing University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler about his new book Misbehaving on stage in London on June 10. Please visit for more details. In anticipation of this event, Professor Thaler is setting FT readers a challenge, revisiting a puzzle he set them once before, in 1997.

Recession ended, reforms wanted

Handelsblatt - May 13, 2015 - "The surprising thing is not that Italy is growing again, but that it grows slowly," says Professor Luigi Zingales of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. (Article also appears in Wirtschafts Woche, Handelszeitung and

The exorbitant weight of finance is a poison for the economy

Slate France - May 14, 2015 - It is not an umpteenth nostalgic Marxism pamphlet Marxism about the evils of capitalism. No, this is very serious work by Luigi Zingales, a renowned professor of economics at the University of Chicago, an institution which is one of the cradles of economic liberalism. And these findings are final.

Dean of Chicago Booth: Large Number of Chinese Students Return to China after Graduation - May 05, 2015 - In discussing the growing importance of business education in Asia, Sunil Kumar, dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, said that the school has enhanced visibility in Asia because of its Hong Kong campus. "With our increased presence in the region, we expect the number of Chinese applicants will increase," he said. (The article also ran on various news sites, including and

Social enterprise illuminates Nepal relief

Caixin - May 08, 2015 - LuminAID is hoping to have 500 of its inflatable, solar-powered lanterns shipped to earthquake victims in Nepal. ... LuminAID won the University of Chicago Booth School of Business' Social New Venture Challenge. (Robert Gertner is quoted in this article.)

End of the recession in Italy - Reaching Renzi's reforms?

Sächsische Zeitung - May 11, 2015 - So far Renzi's program has not completely convinced the European Commission, which announced last week it expects a GDP growth of only 0.6 percent for Italy in 2015. In the euro area, the prospects are currently worse for Greece, Cyprus and Finland. "The surprising thing is not that Italy is growing again, but that it grows slowly," says Professor Luigi Zingales of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. (Article also appears in Mittelbayerische Zeitung, Tageblatt and Badische Zeitung.)

On Wednesday, the GDP 'verdict' by Istat, waiting for the exit from recession

Adnkronos - May 10, 2015 - "What is surprising is not that Italy has returned to growth, but how little is growing," observes economist Luigi Zingales. According to the professor of the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago, an economy comes out of a recession like the one experienced by our country needs to grow by at least 2-3 percent per year, instead of 0.6% estimated by Brussels.

People are judging your intelligence on this one personal attribute.

The Glow - May 07, 2015 - New research by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that when giving a pitch, a person’s voice rather than what they wrote down was the most convincing factor helping them judge intellect. ... Study author Nicholas Epley ... warned that while we might be concerned about saying the wrong thing, we could be doing more damage by not saying anything at all.

Do quotas for corporate boards help women advance?

Education Post - May 04, 2015 - Such mandates could have mixed results, according to Marianne Bertrand, Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at Chicago Booth, who looked at Norway nearly a decade after the quota became law.


Extreme marketing: Dr Amy Lehman tattoos African lake on back to promote clinic

South China Morning Post - May 07, 2015 - After I graduated from the University of Chicago's medical and business school in 2005, I started my general surgery training. Three years later, I visited Lake Tanganyika and got shipwrecked. I was in a boat when a typhoon hit and the airstrip I was supposed to be rescued at was washed away. As a result of being stranded, I saw a lot of things. I went back to Chicago, working as a cardiothoracic surgery resident and was on call at night in the intensive care unit.

Finding My Fun: A Thorough Examination of Crocs, the Most-Hated Shoe in America

Racked - May 14, 2015 - When I call CEO Gregg Ribbatt at Crocs HQ in Niwot, his energy level is high. There's a lot on his docket that day; after our call he'll be testing shoes from the spring/summer 2016 line. ... After college, Ribbatt worked in banking, got his MBA at the University of Chicago, and then commenced his now-20-year run working in women's footwear, where, he says, he loved collaborating with teams to transform and build brands like Saucony and Keds.

War, peace and Coca-Cola in Vietnam

Financial Times - May 05, 2015 - Hana Dang has also branched out, notably as a partner in a $400m local private equity venture of BankInvest of Denmark. She has done an MBA in Chicago and has a production company whose most successful film, a comedy about a poor couple who adopt five street kids, made $3.2m at the box office from a $400,000 investment, she says. She has opened two Thai restaurants with a partner in Ho Chi Minh City — the second last month — and wants to add more outlets in the shopping malls springing up to serve the urban elite.

How to meet 401(k) fiduciary requirements in 5 easy steps

MarketWatch - May 06, 2015 - Greg Carpenter founded Employee Fiduciary in 2004. ... He is a CPA and earned his BA from Yale and his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. (Op-ed written by Booth alumnus.)

A long way - May 06, 2015 - Zarich Martin has a degree in Economics (UBA, with honors), Master in Economics (CEMA) and Master in Business Administration (Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago, with honors). He has a history of 28 years in the financial sector and has held various positions in the state. Between 2002 and 2007 he served as Director of Business Development for South America and then as management of BBVA French as CFO. Since 2010 he is also Director of Innovation and Development.

"Everything That Makes You" and "Catfish"

Memphis Magazine - May 01, 2015 - Moriah McStay — who grew up in Memphis, graduated from Northwestern with a degree in economics, then followed that up with degrees from the University of Chicago — lives today back in her hometown with her husband and three daughters, but she’s traded an outside career for writing full-time. And with Everything That Makes You, she’s written not one but two novels under one title. (Author Moriah McStay is an alumnus.)

Get to know the newest member of Revolution Partners

Memphis Business Journal - May 01, 2015 - Lauren Sekerke, has assumed the role as director of investments for Revolution Partners. ... Sekerke received her Bachelor of Science degree from Lehigh University and her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.