AMA Summer Conference Chair David Gal Pens NY Times Opinion Piece

T.J. Anderson
David Gal
Key Takeaways
What? AMA conference co-chair David Gal points out the limitations of behavioral economics in the New York Times.

So What? Gal's questioning of the concepts of behavioral economics contrasts with its increasing popularity among decision makers.

Now What? Policy makers may want to consider the limitations of behavioral economics when making decisions.
David Gal, a co-chair at the 2018 AMA Summer Academic Conference in Boston, was recently featured in the New York Times. The column, titled “Why Is Behavioral Economics So Popular?” discusses how certain concepts of the academic field, such as “nudging,” “framing bias,” and “the endowment effect,” have generated plenty of buzz in the worlds of business, finance, and policy making. 

However, he challenges behavioral economics’ surge in popularity by giving several examples of its limitations. He attributes this widespread acceptance largely to marketing efforts: 

“The popularity of such low-cost psychological interventions, or 'nudges,' under the label of behavioral economics is in part a triumph of marketing. It reflects the widespread perception that behavioral economics combines the cleverness and fun of pop psychology with the rigor and relevance of economics.”

Gal argues that the tactics of behavioral economics could cause decision makers to take up efforts that are far less effective than other options. 

Check out the full text here​.

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T.J. Anderson