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Ep. 023: Behavioral Economics with Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis joins "Better Off" to discuss his latest work in behavioral economics.

Jill Schlesinger

By Jill Schlesinger, CFP®
  |  Published: June 8, 2017

Sometimes a host has to do what a host has to do to land the interview. You could say that was the case with the one and only Michael Lewis, our guest this week on “Better Off.”

It was a few months back that I ran into Michael in the CBS “This Morning” green room and immediately started working my mojo to get him on the podcast. Although it took weeks and weeks of emails to finally make it happen, it was worth the wait.

Lewis is such a prolific writer that you’ve probably picked up at least one of his books—”Moneyball,” “The Blind Side,” “The Big Short” or “Flash Boys.” In this interview, we discuss his latest work, “The Undoing Project.”

The Undoing Project explores the roots of behavioral economics, a topic that has always fascinated me. I love trying to understand why people make the decisions they do—trying to figure out how the human mind works. And that’s what this book is all about.

Michael Lewis Better Off

It starts with the partnership between Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Forty years ago, the pair published a series of original studies questioning our assumptions about the decision-making process. Their papers showed the ways in which the human mind systematically erred when forced to make judgments in uncertain situations. Their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized big data studies, advanced evidence-based medicine, and led to a new approach to government regulation.

We also touched on many other topics including the financial industry, the current political climate, and what Lewis plans to work on next—which means you’ll likely hear Michael again on this podcast sometime down the road. Hopefully, next time I won’t have to tackle him again in the Green Room!

This article was originally published on Jill Schlesinger’s LinkedIn.

The opinions stated on the Better Off podcast are those of the host, Jill Schlesinger, and her guests, and not those of Betterment or its employees. Any third party links provided are offered as a matter of convenience and are not intended to imply that Betterment endorses, or is affiliated with the owners of or any information contained on those sites unless expressly stated otherwise. Listen to a preview and subscribe to “Better Off” here.

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