Michael Lewis On How Behavioural Economics Changed The World

Tuesday 14 November 2017, 7pm | Emmanuel Centre

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Michael Lewis on how behavioural economics changed the world

Michael Lewis is one of the most successful non-fiction authors alive. He has been acclaimed as a genius by Malcolm Gladwell and as the best current writer in America by Tom Wolfe. In a series of titles that have sold 9 million copies worldwide, he has lifted the lid on the biggest stories of our times, enthralling readers with his knack for humanising complex subjects and giving them the page-turning urgency of the best thrillers. Liar’s Poker is the cult classic that defined Wall Street during the 1980s; Moneyball was made into a film with Brad Pitt; Boomerang was a breakneck tour of Europe’s post-crunch economy; and The Big Short was made into a major Oscar-winning film starring  Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell.

In November 2017 Lewis came to the Intelligence Squared stage, where he was joined by Stephanie Flanders, former economics editor at the BBC. Discussing the themes of his latest book, The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World, they explored the extraordinary story of the relationship between Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky – a collaboration which created the field of behavioural economics. This is the theory which shows that human beings are not the rational creatures we imagined ourselves to be, and has revolutionised everything from big data to medicine, from how we are governed to how we spend, from high finance to football. It won Kahneman the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002 – the first time the award had gone to a psychologist.

Praise for The Undoing Project

‘Michael Lewis could spin gold out of any topic he chose … his best work … vivid, original and hard to forget’  – Tim Harford, The Financial Times

‘Part biography of a friendship and part account of psychology’s impact… it is a story of remarkable individuals succeeding through innovative ideas … Lewis has managed the unusual feat of interweaving psychology and the friendship between two men’ – The Economist


Author of numerous global bestsellers, including The Big Short, Liar’s Poker, Boomerang, and Flash Boys. Lewis is contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and writes for Portfolio and Vanity Fair magazine, for which he has interviewed Barack Obama. Born in New Orleans, Lewis was educated at Princeton University and the London School of Economics, where his tutor was Mervyn King.


Stephanie Flanders

BBC economics editor from 2008 to 2013. She presented numerous BBC television and radio programmes, including her own economics discussion show, ‘Stephanomics’, named after her influential blog. Having been chief market strategist for the UK and Europe for J.P. Morgan Asset Management, she is now head of Bloomberg Economics.



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