Is Behavioral Economics Losing Its Way?

9 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2019

Date Written: March 18, 2019


Almost all of the serious studies of Behavioral Economics have dealt with individuals, but the results of those studies have been used as guidelines for producers and other organizations as well as individuals.There have been a few serious studies of producers, but they have been largely ignored. This paper refers to a summary of the work done and notes that none of the laboratory or field experiments deal with the decision-making of producers, nor do the studies of producers emphasize the most successful among the later. Among the successful outliers (ignored by Behavioral Economics), decision-making does not correspond to much of the irrationality of individuals found in the laboratory and field studies. Suggestions are offered for overcoming this deficiency. These involve interviews of the most successful of those in experimental studies in which the participants are producers (rather than students),and interview-based studies of producers and other organizations—including dissidents from those organizations—all of which focus on the reasons why those making the decisions made the decisions that they did (and on who in the organizations made the decisions).

Keywords: interview-based studies, experiments, outliers, producer and organizational studies

JEL Classification: Z19, L20

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Hugh H., Is Behavioral Economics Losing Its Way? (March 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Hugh H. Schwartz (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

APT 1004
ALEXANDRIA, VA 22303-2519
United States

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