Tags: Maurice Allais, NY Times
Like most people I delight in finding evidence that backs up my ideas, particularly those that go against the grain. It is well-known that the older you get, the faster you turn to the obituaries and so recently I was taking a walk through the NY Times graveyard when “Maurice Allais, Nobel Winner, Dies at 99” caught my eye but I almost turned the page. It was the 99 that hooked me.
As the obit relates, although somewhat unknown because he wrote mainly in French, Allais was phenomenally accomplished: he mathematically proved Adam Smith’s theory that classic markets function efficiently, invented a “Golden Rule” of economic growth and, in the process, wrote 36 books and a 1000 articles. He did live a long time but still!
His great year, as least as regards his service to my ideas was 1953. I was young then, just 3, but my mind was working. It was then that “he came up with a new way of thinking about economic decision-making by providing convincing mathematical proof that people often put emotional considerations first. His theory … came to be known as Allais paradox.”
What have I been saying for years! (For the record and as has been related in this blog as well as in my day-to-day coaching: I hold that people buy for personal, generally emotional reasons and back them up with authorities and spread sheets.)