CHICAGO (CBS) — The Nobel Prize — it’s given to the smartest money minds in the world, and another Chicago professor got the call Monday morning.
Prof. Richard Thaler from the University of Chicago was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics.
“My cell phone rang at 4 in the morning and it said ‘Sweden’ on the phone, so I had a pretty good idea what that might be,” Thaler said. “I’m happy it happened, and I’m happy I’m young enough to enjoy it.”
Prof. Thaler is being honored for his contributions to behavioral economics, and his ability to create “easy-to-understand scenarios that show how human behavior often contradicts traditional economic logic.”
Thaler explained it best in his cameo appearance in the movie ‘The Big Short,’ when singer Selena Gomez is on a winning streak, and believes she can’t lose.
“In basketball it’s called the hot-hand fallacy. A player makes a bunch of shots in a row. People are sure they’re going to make the next one. People think whatever’s happening now is going to continue to happen into the future. During the real estate boom, the markets were going up and up and people thought they would never go down.”
Prof. Thaler is now one of 90 scholars from the University of Chicago to have been honored with Nobel Prizes, and among the 29 who have received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.
“Richard’s original, broadly influential and paradigm-defining work has richly earned this recognition,” the university’s president Robert J. Zimmer wrote in a message to the UChicago community. “We look forward to celebrating Richard’s work and his place in the distinguished legacy of eminent economics research at the University of Chicago.”
Winners of the Nobel Prize also receive a check for $1 million.
“What am I going to do with the money? Anytime I spend any money that’s really fun, I’m going to say ‘that came from the Noble Prize,'” the professor said, smiling, during a news conference Monday.