The Irrational Economist

The Irrational Economist : Making Decisions in a Dangerous World

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The world's most distinguished behavioral economists address the economic implications of catastrophe - how we must reconcile our instincts with a world full of natural disasters, global climate upheaval, financial storms and terrorist threats. We live in a risky world, one that requires us sometimes to make complicated, life-changing decisions often very quickly. The science of decision-making and adapting to changed circumstances is multi-disciplinary, but no area is more concerned with the rightness of how humans spend their resources and make their minds up than behavioral economics, the newly fashionable part of the economics curriculum. Here, leading thinkers and academics in this field, including three Nobel Prize winners, begin to show how we must reconcile our instincts with a world full of natural disasters, global climate upheaval, financial storms and terrorist threats. Of the 20 most costly insured catastrophes that occurred in the world in the past 38 years (1970-2007), half of them (ten events) have occurred since 2001, nine of them in the United States. For the US, which has extensive experience with natural catastrophes, the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons demonstrated the lack of adequate loss reduction measures and emergency preparedness capacity required to deal with large-scale natural disasters. Hurricane Katrina alone killed 1,300 people and forced 1.5 million people to evacuate the affected area - a historical record for the country. Economic damages are estimated in the range of US$150 to 200 billion. The 9/11 attacks and the 2004/2005 series of hurricanes that made the US landfall demonstrate a new scale of destruction. What is at stake here is the fundamental question of the affordability of living with risk, and the appropriate role of the public and private sectors in providing adequate coverage to the potential victims of future disasters. Contributors to the "Irrational Economist Initiative" are true pioneers and current leading thinkers on the question of catastrophe risk management. They have made critical contributions not only to the advancement of the knowledge in this field, but also in changing the ways decision makers in corporations and government bodies in the U.S. and other countries, address these questions, and the ways people living in high risk areas are affected.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 162.56 x 236.22 x 35.56mm | 544.31g
  • INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US
  • PublicAffairs,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1586487809
  • 9781586487805
  • 801,853

Review quote

Joseph Stiglitz "The Irrational Economist challenges conventional wisdoms, overturns traditional economic models, and brings to light new discoveries in decision sciences: The result is a profound revolution in thinking. This book will help us cope better with the myriad of important decisions under uncertainty that we face." Richard M. Smith, Chairman, Newsweek "In The Irrational Economist some of the world's foremost economists and decision scientists analyze how we make decisions under pressure--and offer thought-provoking ideas about how to improve the process. The result is important and remarkably timely." Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research "Dealing with extra-ordinary situations that cannot be quantified on the basis of past experience is one of the key problems facing investors, business executives, and government officials. Michel-Kerjan and Slovic brilliantly rally insights from an outstanding group of authors: There is something here for any reader."show more

About Erwann Michel-Kerjan

Erwann Michel-Kerjan has authored or co-authored more than 40 publications at the crux of financial management and global risk governance, and his views regularly appear in leading media. In 2007, Dr. Michel-Kerjan was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Davos), an honour bestowed to recognize and acknowledge the most extraordinary leaders of the world under the age of 40. He lives in Philadelphia. Paul Slovic is a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, a founder and President of Decision Research, and author of several scholarly books on human judgement and risk analysis. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association. He lives in Eugene.show more

Rating details

42 ratings
2.9 out of 5 stars
5 5% (2)
4 24% (10)
3 38% (16)
2 24% (10)
1 10% (4)
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