Whose work are you watching?

Lawrence Summers:  I think the kind of area, philanthropy, that has been opened up with global health and a bringing of rigorous analysis to those problems, is something that is profoundly important. I think the whole set of advances associated with behavioral economics and the recognition of the many different aspects of how people make decisions that go way beyond rationality, and that have implications for how options are priced. And some of the questions in behavioral finance that people have worked on, but have much more profound implications for the ways in which we can best educated people, the ways in which we can best support people, I think these are terribly, terribly important issues. I think the questions around how we’re going to help the societies that are falling furthest behind. There’s a range of very able people – Jeff Sachs – towards one end, in terms of a continuum of views, others who are doing very, very thoughtful work.

But you know, my approach in general in life is to try to engage with the issues rather than the particular individuals. And I think the second revolution that’s underway after the Industrial Revolution, with the rise of China and India, is profound than anything else that’s happening.

Recorded On: June 13, 2007

Going beyond rationality yields some very interesting results worth watching, says Larry Summers.

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