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Ulric B. and Evelyn L. Bray Social Sciences Seminar

Thursday, April 30, 2020
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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A Synthesis of Behavioural and Mainstream Economics
Robert J. Aumann, Professor of Mathematics, Hebrew University,

Abstract: Mainstream economic theory is based on the rationality assumption: that people act as best they can to promote their interests. In contrast, behavioural economics holds that people act by behavioural rules of thumb, often with poor results. We propose a synthesis according to which people indeed act by rules, which  usually work well, but  may work poorly in exceptional or contrived scenarios. The reason is that like physical features, behavioural rules are the product of evolutionary processes; and evolution works on the usual, the common—not the exception, not the contrived scenario.

Robert J. Aumann is a professor of mathematics, and a founding member of the center for the study of rationality, in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, where he has worked since 1956. His seminal contributions to various topics in microeconomic theory span repeated games, general equilibrium theory, epistemology, decision theory, cooperative games and more. He is the recipient of the John von Neumann Theory Prize for life long contributions to game theory, and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Professor Aumann will be joined by guests Roberto Serrano, Roger Myerson and Yossi Feinberg.

How to view the seminar:
Sign up for a free twitch.tv account, and tune in for this special event on Thursday at 12 PM PST on twitch.tv/caltechecontheory.

For more information, please contact Letty Diaz by phone at 626-395-1255 or by email at letty.diaz@caltech.edu.