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The Nobel Prize winner for economics had the perfect response to the win

  • Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in economics for his research on how people may not always act as rationally as economists' models assume.
  • When asked how he will spend his $1.1 million award, Thaler says he will "try to spend it as irrationally as possible."

In this photo provided by the University of Chicago, Richard Thaler poses for a photo with his books at his home in Chicago after winning the Nobel prize in economics, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017.
Anne Ryan | University of Chicago via AP
In this photo provided by the University of Chicago, Richard Thaler poses for a photo with his books at his home in Chicago after winning the Nobel prize in economics, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017.

The leading thinker on behavioral economics and finance knows exactly how he will spend his Nobel Prize award.

Richard Thaler won the Nobel in economics Monday for his contributions to behavioral economics, the study of how humans may not always act as rationally as economists' models assume.

On Monday, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Thaler the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2017 at a ceremony from Stockholm. Thaler phoned into the ceremony to answer questions about his work.

In a response to a question on how he will spend the 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.1 million) in prize money, Thaler said:

"I will try to spend it as irrationally as possible."

Thaler, a professor at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, is most well-known for his 2008 book "Nudge" co-authored with Cass Sunstein, a professor at The University of Chicago Law School.

The work discusses how humans are often irrational beings whose behavior can be influenced, or "nudged," through their environment.

Thaler has said his favorite example of a nudge is how adding flies to urinals in airports reduces spillage.