George Katona

A founder of behavioral economics

Authored by: Richard Curtin

Routledge Handbook of Behavioral Economics

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138821149
eBook ISBN: 9781315743479
Adobe ISBN: 9781317589242


 Download Chapter



George Katona was a founder of behavioral economics. Katona first published a broad outline and agenda for the development of behavioral economics in the 1940s (1942a, 1944a, 1945, 1946a, 1946b, 1947, 1951a, 1951b). Katona conceived behavioral economics as a discipline within economics that was primary concerned with the human element in economic affairs. While some believe that the adjective “behavioral” is implicit and unnecessary in the title of any social science discipline, Katona thought it was necessary to emphasize that the centerpiece of this research was human decision making whereas a significant portion of economic theory was concerned with the behavior of markets. Katona did not attempt to replace economic theory but tried to bolster its findings with new insights from a more complete and accurate account of economic behavior (Katona, 1951a, 1963, 1967a, 1972a, 1974, 1976a, 1980). Katona was an empirical scientist who believed that understanding economic behavior through careful observation was the best foundation on which to base advances in economic theory. That same approach has persisted for most other researchers in behavioral economics who have followed Katona (Rabin, 2002).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.