Michael Woodford, the John Bates Clark Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University, was a panelist at the inaugural University of Chicago Policy Forum, held April 25, 2019. The Forum was organized by The Macro Finance Research Program (MFR) and the Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD). During his visit, Woodford met with HCEO to discuss his research on decision-making.
"I’ve been doing a lot of work recently on foundations of decision-making and, in particular, pursuing the idea that there are many patterns in people’s behavior that can be best understood as mistakes that result from imprecision and decision makers internal, mental representations of the situation they’re in, as opposed to precise representations of the situation they’re in," Woodford says. "The point of this research is to suggest that that additional flexibility in the way you model what’s going on, how decisions are made, is important. "
Woodford also noted the importance of the UChicago Policy Forum, as it provided a valuable opportunity for a public discussion of various viewpoints on the contributions of behavioral economics to the overall field.
"One of the really nice things about the forum was the range of different points of view on that question that were represented. I think it got a lot of issues aired and out on the table," he says. "These kind of discussions have to occur for the field to move forward. I think this kind of occasion can really be very important in clarifying fundamental issues for the field of economics as a whole."