A professor at the University of Chicago, Richard Thaler was awarded the prize for his contribution to behavioural economics.

Photo of Richard H. Thaler is displayed on the screen during the announcement of the winner of the Nobel Prize in economic sciences 2017, during a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, October 9, 2017.
Photo of Richard H. Thaler is displayed on the screen during the announcement of the winner of the Nobel Prize in economic sciences 2017, during a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, October 9, 2017. (Reuters)

The US economist Richard Thaler won the 2017 Nobel Economics Prize for his contributions in the field of behavioural economics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Monday.

Thaler won the award for showing how human traits affect supposedly rational markets. He brought to prominence the idea of “nudge” economics, where humans are subtly guided toward beneficial behaviors without heavy-handed compulsion, the theme of a 2008 book he co-wrote, which caught the eye of policymakers around the world.

"In total, Thaler's contributions have built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making," the award-giving body said on announcing the $1.1 million (9 million Swedish crown) prize.

In his award citation, the Academy said his research explored the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control.

"His empirical findings ...  had a profound impact on many areas of economic research and policy."

Source: Reuters