Best Behavioral Economics Books – 14 Top Reads

by | Oct 1, 2022

Learning more about behavioral economics can help us improve our decision-making process, improve our business models, and communicate with people in an impactful and positive way. 

One of the best ways to gain in-depth knowledge about behavioral economics is by reading and learning from the experts. So, we researched and gathered the best behavioral economics books. The books in this guide will help you collect information and understand behavioral economics and how it all works.

Best Behavioral Economics Books

Below are the 14 best books on behavioral economics that talk about human behavior, government systems, and what we can learn from other great decision-makers.

1. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

In Misbehaving, author, behavioral economist, Nobel Prize winner, and economics professor Richard Thaler strives to change how readers view the field of economics. By talking about behavioral finance, ourselves, and how we navigate our lives in the world, Richard Thaler helps readers improve their decision-making process and explains how knowing more about economics can help us overall.

If you’re into behavioral science and how knowledge of human behavior can help you make better decisions, Misbehaving by Richard Thaler is a must-read. You will avoid common mental missteps by reading this book.

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2. Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational

In Predictably Irrational, author Dan Ariely challenges readers’ assumptions about a decision-making process based on rational thought. If you want to make better decisions, add Predictably Irrational to your reading list.

By reading this behavioral economics book, you’ll be able to make more rational decisions daily and find solutions to more social behavior problems than Dan Ariely dives into. Since this book explores social science and how we navigate the world around us, it’s perfect for readers who want to improve their well-being and learn more about social norms and how psychology takes place in our lives. 

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3. Thinking, Fast and Slow 

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Written by author and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow is a New York Times best-selling book that explains which two systems in mind drive how we think and behave. 

Thinking, Fast and Slow is one of the best behavioral economics books. If you want to improve your discipline and make small changes that will enhance your life, learning about the systems in the brain that impact your behavior is a great place to start. By diving into behavioral economics, Kahneman can help readers make better decisions and understand human cognition on a deeper level.

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4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence- The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Created by Robert Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a New York Times best-selling book that teaches readers the most impactful ways to influence others at work and in everyday life.

In this book, Cialdini explains the six principles of influence and how knowing them can help us have more impact on other people. By explaining behavioral science and how people are influenced, Cialdini helps readers become more agreeable.

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5. How Change Happens

How Change Happens by Cass Sunstein

How Change Happens by Cass Sunstein is a book that explains the most common ways social change happens. Understanding how to influence others on a large scale can help us communicate our message and leave a legacy.

By reading this book, you’ll be able to make better connections with others and find solutions to problems your audience is eager to solve. If you want to impact the world around you and see the most effective ways we affect each other, How Change Happens by Cass R Sunstein is a book you must read.

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6. Everything Is Obvious 

Everything Is Obvious

Everything Is Obvious by Duncan J. Watts explores how common sense fails us and how we can work past human cognition limits using cognitive science. Since we are products of our minds, it’s crucial to understand change behavior and how our thoughts impact our actions. Luckily, that’s what Duncan J. Watts is here to teach us.

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7. What Works: Gender Equality by Design 

What Works: Gender Equality by Design

In What Works: Gender Equality by Design by Iris Bohnet, Bohnet talks about gender equality as a business imperative and how it relates to behavioral economics. Behavioral design can be the one thing that saves your business, and Iris Bohnet is here to teach you how to apply what you learn in this book and change the way you think about behavioral economics.

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8. Inside the Nudge Unit

Inside the Nudge Unit

In Inside the Nudge Unit, author and behavioral scientist David Halpern explain how small changes can make a big difference with fascinating examples. Nudge Unit is the first government institution in the world that uses behavioral economics to understand how humans are influenced.

Reading Inside the Nudge Unit is a great place to start if you want to make better decisions and make a huge difference by finding solutions to global problems. By reading this, you’ll be able to gain more by avoiding loss aversion. You’ll also be able to improve your self-discipline and turn your big idea into one that others agree with. 

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9. Judgment Under Uncertainty

 Judgment Under Uncertainty

In the groundbreaking book Judgment Under Uncertainty, author Daniel Kahneman teaches readers how to recognize their heuristics and biases. Whether you want to excel in the social sciences or politics, this book gives you the insights you’ll need to reach your future goals. 

By drawing from influential decision-makers and the most effective ways of communicating, this book helps readers maintain good judgment even when the stakes are high. So, aside from behavioral change, you will make more sound decisions and less irrational decisions.

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10. The Wisest One in the Room

The Wisest One in the Room

Created by social psychologists Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross, The Wisest One in the Room draws on a long list of insights from social psychology that will help you improve others’ lives and communicate effectively.

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11. Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes 

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes

Created by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich, Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes is a book that teaches readers how to correct and prevent financial mistakes in their lives. 

Drawing on a long list of insights from the field of behavioral economics, authors Belsky and Gilovich explain the psychology behind money management and how we can use this science to improve our habits surrounding money.

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12. The Why Axis

The Why Axis

This book, written by Uri Gneezy and John A. List, focuses on behavioral economics and business strategy. It analyzes how experimental economics helps us determine what causes behavior change and its profound effect. Their research provides answers to bridging the gap between rich and poor students.

The book also makes a compelling case on how to price products and services and why people discriminate. With this book, you can answer questions on how people motivate themselves and others.

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13. Happy Money

Happy Money

Happy Money was written by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, and it explains how the economic systems work and ways to get more happiness from money, which they believe is the ultimate goal. The writers listed five principles of making decisions for financial security and ideas for creating money-influenced goals. So, if you are interested in how to create wealth, this book is for you.

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14. Paradox of Choice

The Paradox Of Choice

Better choices don’t always come from having better options. Barry Schwartz said there is a dark side to it in the book, Paradox of Choice. So, when making important decisions on health, habit-forming products, or your retirement plan, you’ll find yourself asking questions about your decisions due to ‘choice overload.’

Schwartz believes that having multiple choices doesn’t make us feel better, but fewer choices do. His advice is to limit your decisions, focus on what matters, and choose wisely.

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Final Thoughts: Behavioral Economics Books

Economics and behavioral economics can be very complex topics. However, the books above explain how we can positively impact others and improve our lives. By enhancing our well-being and understanding of social science, we’ll positively influence others and make better decisions overall. Looking to gain more knowledge about the winding world of economics? You may also be interested in adding one of our best economics podcasts to your playlist! Now go, get learning.

Andrew Green

Andrew is a successful entrepreneur and lifelong learner. Throughout his career, he has watched hundreds of online courses that have allowed him to achieve success in highly competitive fields such as online marketing, investing, and sales. Andrew is committed to expanding his knowledge and expertise and he reviews the premium courses he watches on his online blog.
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