Thursday, September 05, 2002

Game Shows.

Each Monday I discuss economics with Geraldine Doogue on Life Matters on ABC Radio National.

This Monday I talked about what economists are learning from TV game shows. The Price is Right and The Weakest Link are almost-perfect laboratories in which to study financial behaviour. Unlike artificial laboratories the money is real (six million for the price is right) and the data is rich (7,000 banking decisions in 70 episodes of the Weakest Link.)

The findings are that we don't behave entirely rationally. We approximate rational behaviour by using easy rules of thumb.

We make a rational decision to be economical with our thinking resources. Ironic, huh?

And there was more besides.

Here are some of the references.

Next Monday, I'll be discussing happiness, using the references dug up this week by Ross Gittins.

I'll go further. I'll reveal what really does make us happy.

For the SBS Business Show I am researching a panel discussion about the unwieldy nature of taxation in Australia.

The problem is that it is an unwieldy topic.

That discussion should go to air on Sunday September 15.