Richard Thaler has been awarded the Nobel prize in economics for his work on how psychology influences decision making.

The award – officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in memory of Alfred Nobel, which was first awarded in 1969 – was given to Mr Thaler for his work in “understanding the psychology of economics”, said the prize committee.

Richard Thaler is an American economist who is currently professor of behavioural science and economics at the University of Chicago. He is the 79th recipient of the Nobel, which was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm today. He will receive a prize of 9m Swedish krona ($1.1m).

The prize committee said that Mr Thaler’s work on incorporating insights from psychology into economics had inspired many other researchers and transformed behavioural economics from being “a fringe and controversial” field to a “mainstream area”.

The insights from this area of economics were summarised in Mr Thaler’s popular book “Nudge”, co-authored with Cass Sunstein, and have been increasingly influential in shaping economic policies.

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Image source: Richard Thaler

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