Ep. 023 – Behavioral Economics with Michael Lewis

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, including 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.

It’s starts with the partnership between Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Forty years ago, the pair wrote 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 he plans to work on next. Which means you’ll likely hear Michael again on this podcast sometime down the road…hopefully I won’t have to tackle him again in the Green Room!

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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