We spoke with Edward Cartwright about his textbook ‘Behavioral Economics’ structured into four parts and eleven chapters. This is now the third edition published by Routledge and it is a leading advanced textbook on Behavioral Economics. Edward is also co-author with Robert Frank on the European edition of the popular Microeconomics and Behaviour textbook. Edward is associate editor at the Journal of Public Economic Theory and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
I asked about his personal background and about the origin of the book that at its first edition was one of the pioneering textbooks available. Edward then provided a short introduction to Behavioral Economics and located it in the mainstream / heterodox economics debate. We also discussed how Behavioral Economics contributed to modify the relationship between macro and micro. Edward mentioned the impact of Behavioral Economics to economic theory and policy making (last chapter of the book). We discussed the ethical implications of applied behavioral research and we mentioned the field of happiness economics covered in chapter 11.
Edward’s main research interests are in behavioural economics, game theory and public economics. Much of his research analyses cooperation in small groups, exploring the role of social norms, leadership, framing and communication. Another strand of work looks at conformity, prejudice and discrimination. Further research interests include cyber-security and doping in sport.
Over the last few decades behavioral economics has revolutionized the discipline. It has done so by putting the human back into economics, by recognizing that people sometimes make mistakes, care about others and are generally not as cold and calculating as economists have traditionally assumed. The results have been exciting and fascinating, and have fundamentally changed the way we look at economic behavior.
This textbook introduces all the key results and insights of behavioral economics to a student audience. Ideas such as mental accounting, prospect theory, present bias, inequality aversion and learning are explained in detail. These ideas are also applied in diverse settings such as auctions, stock market crashes, charitable donations and health care, to show why behavioral economics is crucial to understanding the world around us. Consideration is also given to what makes people happy, and how we can potentially nudge people to be happier.
Andrea Bernardi is Senior Lecturer in Employment and Organization Studies at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. He holds a doctorate in Organization Theory from the University of Milan, Bicocca. He has held teaching and research positions in Italy, China and the UK. Among his research interests are the use of history in management studies, the co-operative sector, and Chinese co-operatives. His latest project is looking at health care in rural China. He is the co-convener of the EAEPE’s permanent track on Critical Management Studies.