Wednesday 21 February 2018

We should know herd behaviour will lead to us choosing the wrong answers again

The Pentagon employs whistleblowers to watch for undesirable behaviours such as groupthink, herding and trend-following
The Pentagon employs whistleblowers to watch for undesirable behaviours such as groupthink, herding and trend-following
Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

To paraphrase golfer Ben Hogan, if it seems obvious, you're probably wrong. That could be the mantra of the fashionable subject of behavioural economics - to an extent that is beginning to dismay some of its proponents as they venture further into this looking-glass world.

David McWilliams' Kilkenomics event, which kicks off today, cleverly combines economics of the behavioural sort with comedy, has just finished and the workings of the new science, if that be the right word, was much in the news.

Not only that, behaviours of a kind we might have hoped not to see again for a long time, such as inflationary public sector strikes, are rampant across the land. If there is a science to encourage positive behaviour it seems to be failing, at least in this country.

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