VU researchers involved in research of Nobel Prize winner in Economics, Richard Thaler

The Nobel Prize in Economics is being awarded to Richard Thaler this year for his analyses in behavioural economics. Thaler is being awarded the prize because he integrates human behaviour, which is not always rational, into analyses of economic decisions. VU professor Martijn van den Assem and assistant professor Dennie van Dolder, together with Thaler, studied decision-making behaviour in situations where a lot of money is at stake.

10-10-2017 | 9:06

Together with VU researchers Dennie van Dolder and Martijn van den Assem, Thaler researched the decision making of participants in TV gameshows. Some gameshows like 'Deal or No Deal', make it possible to study behaviour in situations where a lot of money is at stake. Insights into this are relevant because of the scepticism about the generalisability of findings that are based on experiments, where nothing or hardly anything is at stake. Van Dolder and Van den Assem, together with Thaler, looked at risk behaviour, cooperation and negotiating behaviour.

Van den Assem and Van Dolder: “It is fantastic and surreal to work with someone who has won the highest achievable prize in science.”

Richard Thaler is one of the founders of behavioural economics, a relatively new discipline that challenges and has changed old ideas in economic science about human judgment and preferences.

Martijn van den Assem
Martijn van den Assem is a professor of Finance and holds the chair in Financial Judgment and Decision Making at the School of Business and Economics. His inaugural lecture was on 21 September this year, and was partly about his research with Thaler.

Dennie van Dolder
Dennie van Dolder is an assistant professor at the Finance department of the School of Business and Economics.