Behavioral economics on Science this week

Steven D. Levitt and John A. List discuss behavioral economics in Homo Economicus evolves , Science 15 February 2008:ol. 319. no. 5865, pp. 909 – 910, DOI: 10.1126/science.1153640). They write:

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing behavioral economics is demonstrating its applicability in the real world. In nearly every instance, the strongest empirical evidence in favor of behavioral anomalies emerges from the lab. . . Some evidence thus far suggests that behavioral anomalies are less pronounced than was previously observed in the lab . . . Behavioral economics stands today at a crossroads. On the modeling side, researchers should integrate the existing behavioral models and empirical results into a unified theory . . . To be empirically relevant, the anomalies that arise so frequently and powerfully in the laboratory must also manifest themselves in naturally occurring settings of interest.

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