Richard Thaler’s heretical thoughts

The Economist Who Realized How Crazy We Are

I’m not sure we’re living in an age of disruption, or just an age that badly wants to think itself disruptive, but either way there’s been a lot of rethinking going on the past decade or so. The biggest upheavals have come in industries in which managers have always made decisions more or less by gut instinct: political campaigns, health care, military campaigns, professional sports. The obvious cause of the turmoil is the availability of ever-cheaper computing power: People looking for an edge in any business can now gather and analyze all sorts of previously unobtainable or unanalyzable data. The less obvious cause is an idea, that the data might trump the expertise of managers. People (even experts) and industries (even old ones) can make big, systematic mistakes. You don’t set out to find better ways to value professional baseball players if you believe that the market already knows everything there is to know about their value. ….[READ]

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