Richard Thaler Quotes

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Richard Thaler Quote: “A good rule of thumb is to assume that everything matters.”


Richard Thaler Quote: “My mantra is if you want to help people accomplish some goal, make it easy.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “So, what’s a nudge? A nudge is some small feature of the environment that attracts our attention and alters our behavior.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “The assumption that everybody will figure out how much they have to save and then will just implement that plan is obviously preposterous.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “I don’t go by the ratings. I buy wine that tastes good. Statistically, anybody’s ability to predict what will be a good wine a decade from now is limited.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “There are cases when I can make myself better off by restricting my future choices and commit myself to a specific course of action.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “Recall that people like to do what most people think it is right to do; recall too that people like to do what most people actually do.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “The lesson from behavioral economics is that people only save if it’s automatic.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “When an economist says the evidence is “mixed,” he or she means that theory says one thing and data says the opposite.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “The same with the mortgage brokers that were selling people mortgages they couldn’t afford. We shouldn’t pay them on each mortgage they write. They should have what they call “skin in the game,” where they’ve got to reimburse us if the guy who sold the mortgage defaults.”


Richard Thaler Quote: “I think the people who’ve been the most overconfident in our business in the last decade have been the people that called themselves risk managers.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “People exaggerate their own skills. they are optimistic about their prospects and overconfident about their guesses, including which managers to pick.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “I think one lesson we have to learn is that there’s a lot more risk than we’re giving credit to, a lot more what economist calls systematic risk.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “I’m all for empowerment and education, but the empirical evidence is that it doesn’t work. That’s why I say make it easy.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “Why tie to gold? Why not 1982 Bordeaux?”

Richard Thaler Quote: “Everyone’s lost a lot of money on their 401k plans. I’ve heard some people calling them 201k plans. So it’s even more important to get people to be saving more for retirement. Behavioral economics has helped us learn a lot about how to do that.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “I think we also have learned the lesson that we have to have better incentive structures.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “Most people start claiming benefits within a year of when they become eligible, although benefits increase substantially if they wait.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “Credit cards have been extremely profitable to banks. They’re profitable not from the fees they collect from the retailers that use the credit cards, that pays the bills, but the real profits come from the interest payments and the charges to users that are unexpected.”

Richard Thaler Quote: “A company invites their employees to sign up for a plan where every time they get a raise, some part of that raise goes to increasing their contribution rate to the 401k plan. In the first company we convinced to adopt this plan, saving rates tripled.”

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