Richard Thaler after being awarded the 2014 Global Economy Prize of the Kiel Institute for World Economy. Photo: Carsten Rehder / AP
Richard Thaler, an economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, won the Nobel Prize in Economics on Monday for his contributions to behavioral economics, or how people make economic decisions.
Why it matters: He has investigated the idea that people sometimes break with the standard economics assumption that all actors are rational and selfish. And when asked how he would spend his prize money, he replied, "This is quite a funny question...I will try to spend it as irrationally as possible," per the NYT.