Malte Dold Speaks on Hayek, Psychology, and Economics

Malte Dold, Assistant Professor of Economics at Pomona College, will give a talk with the title “Hayekian Psychological Economics.”

The talk will take place on February 15, 2023, from 4-5:30pm in the Graduate Life Center Multipurpose Room. The speaker will join the event virtually.

The talk is tailored to appeal to both faculty and students, with plenty of time for discussion and interaction with the guest speaker. The talk will be followed by a public reception. You are cordially invited to attend.

Here is the abstract of the talk: Recently there has been a lively discussion of “Hayekian Behavioral Economics” in Behavioral Public Policy. We aim to contribute to this debate by identifying the main building blocks of a Hayekian psychology. We highlight that the starting point for Hayek was the quest to understand why humans are typically quite successful in navigating the world. In Hayek’s framework, the individual mind is conceptualized as a ‘system within a system’, i.e., the mind is a complex adaptive system that is continuously interacting with the wider socio-cultural system. Three core ideas are central to a Hayekian psychology: subjectivity, learning, and adaptation. We argue that these ideas are quite different from the still dominant heuristics-and-biases perspective and lead to different emphases in economic and social science explanations. One, economists should be cautious in their interpretation of experimental findings since subjective meaning is central to agents’ behavior and welfare. Two, static and isolated models of individuals’ biases might underestimate people’s capacity to learn with and from others. And three, despite complex processes of adaptation of the mind and the market, a Hayekian framework is consistent with economists’ “explanations of the principle” and “pattern predictions.”

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