Behavioral Economics in Song

by on February 25, 2010 at 7:20 am in Economics, Music | Permalink

Liam Delaney gives The Flaming Lips "a honourable place in the
behavioral economics songs hall of fame for the 'yeah yeah yeah song' which
reminds us that it is 'a very dangerous thing to do exactly what you
want because you cannot know yourself…'."

I take Delaney's Yeah, Yeah, Yeah and raise it with Chris Smither's Heh, Heh, Heh song which runs in part:

Pretty soon you're gonna ask me,
How come the life you lead,
Doesn't make you very happy,
Or satisfy your needs,
You talk about your needs as though
You know just what they are,
When in fact to really know them,
Is like traveling to a star,
It takes so long you die along the way,
So I say hey, hey, hey.

One of my papers, which never got very far, took this as inspiration to think about how preference discovery could modify various economic concepts.

Your nominations?

1 r4i gold February 25, 2010 at 7:24 am

Behavioral economics has suggested ways to change how such choices are presented in order to help improve decisionmaking without necessarily constraining choice. Those suggestionsparticularly regarding the automatic enrollment of workers in employer-provided savings plans—are beginning to see widespread adoption.

2 Alex Tabarrok February 25, 2010 at 7:59 am

Quotation marks fixed! Thx.

3 Ian McCreery February 25, 2010 at 10:38 am

“Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis
When I was dead broke, man I couldn’t picture this”

Juicy, by Notorious B.I.G.

4 john February 25, 2010 at 11:04 am

another one from “the well that never runs dry”:

5 Dave February 25, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Aesop Rock’s “9-5er’s Anthem”

“I take my seat atop the Brooklyn Bridge
With a Coke and a bag of chips
To watch a thousand lemmings plummet
Just because the first one slipped.”

The whole song/Labor Days album is an interesting labour market description.

6 axa February 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm
7 Charlie Deist February 26, 2010 at 1:45 am

I’ve made a hobby out of personal preference discovery. Maybe I will start a journal.

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