Behavioral economics, as an academic discipline, reoriented the foundations of neoclassical economics’ theory of the subject. This project gives a cultural history of the behavioral economic narrative mode as it entered popular American discourse and participated in the construction of common sense. In this mode, friendly masculine explainers tell entertaining stories about the economy, or, the behavior of characters in stories is explained as fundamentally motivated by the same kind of decision-making that governs markets. In this mode, the hegemonic financial explainer Michael Lewis wrote bestselling books about the world of high finance. These became the dominant popular narratives about the arrival of big data (Moneyball), the financial crisis (The Big Short), and the rise of behavioral economics (The Undoing Project). In the thick context of this cultural production, I analyze the epistemological consequences and narrow horizons of behavioral economic storytelling.
Presented by Michelle Chihara, Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature at Whittier College.
Free to attend and refreshments will be served afterwards.
Date And Time
Wed 28 August 2019
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
R.D. Watt Seminar Room 203
The University of Sydney