Author Archives: koenfucius

About koenfucius

Wisdom or koenfusion? Maybe the difference is not that big.

Make it hard

(featured image credit: Skitterphoto) Nudging is about ‘making it easy’, but sometimes difficult can be better We are very much creatures of habit. Unlike what neoclassical economists would have us believe, most of us are also generally not utility maximizers, … Continue reading

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Belief without value

Our beliefs often stand in the way of better decisions – because we value them too much The great economist John Maynard Keynes reportedly once said, ‘When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, Sir?’ As … Continue reading

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Fairness or efficiency?

(featured image: NeuPaddy) Yet another instance of the tension between our emotions and economic logic Imagine a clothing retailer who charges more for an item in a larger size than for an almost identical one in a more mainstream size. While … Continue reading

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Honesty in a box

(featured image credit Tim Green) Acting dishonestly often pays. So does acting honestly go against our own self-interest? Travelling along Britain’s rural roads one doesn’t just encounter octagonal former toll houses (and real tolls). Something else that was unfamiliar to me … Continue reading

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Misunderstanding rationality

(Featured image credit: Les Colporteurs CC0) It is tempting to equate ‘rational’ with ‘right’, and ‘irrational’ with ‘wrong’, but that is mistaken The lottery is sometimes called a tax on the stupid. The logic behind this opinion is that the … Continue reading

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What’s the price?

(featured image: pexels) Internet companies are trying to charge different prices for the same thing depending on who you are. Is that a problem? Prices are a funny concept. We unthinkingly treat them as if they are a physical attribute of … Continue reading

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A tale of two tolls (behavioural economics and ethics edition)

(featured image: S Lowe) Why do we happily pay some tolls, and not others? And how ethical is it to encourage people to take the toll option? On the way back from a few days at the seaside, Google informed us … Continue reading

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