The Behavioral Economics and Decision Research Center (BEDR) unites Cornell scholars who share a common interest in judgment, decision making, and behavioral economics. BEDR was founded in 1989 at Cornell by 2017 Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler and is jointly supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and the College of Human Ecology.

The impact economists have had on government and social policy is undeniable. Much of their influence stems from refined models used to illustrate how the economy functions. Incorporating insights from psychology, the field of behavioral economics is devoted to building more accurate economic models based on a realistic view of human rationality and how people make judgments in their daily lives.

Often cited as the birthplace of behavioral economics, Cornell’s BEDR remains at the forefront with international conferences, podcasts, lauded journal articles, and books. Through our lecture series and courses at the undergraduate- and graduate-level, BEDR is dedicated to behavioral and applied economics; risk and rational decision making; and judgment and managerial decision making, all-the-while trying to shed light on policies that can be most effectively implemented to maximize one’s own and society’s welfare. ¤


Michael Brady of SC Johnson’s Graduate School of Management’s Present Value podcast speaks with Manoj Thomas, the Breazzano Family Term Professor of Management at Johnson, about spending quirks at the grocery store and other consumer behavior.



Would the US economy function more effectively, and would US citizens live more enriched lives, if our current earnings-based system of taxation were replaced by a consumption-based tax system?

What are the most effective ways to encourage people to delay short-term pleasures to realize long-term goals?

How can adolescents be trained to rein in their impulsive tendencies while the control centers of their prefrontal cortex are still developing?

Why is it often easier for people to feel resentful rather than grateful; how does this difference influence how people vote or the social policies they tend to resist or embrace?

What gives rise to market bubbles and crashes and how can knowledge of their origins be used to forecast their occurrence?