Dan Ariely is a renowned behavioral economist, author, entrepreneur, and investor. He is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. Dan is the author of six books, most of which have the word “Irrationality” in the title and has a weekly column in the The Wall Street Journal called “Ask Ariely.” Dan’s TED Talks that have been downloaded more than 10 million times.
Dan also is a Founding Partner of Irrational Capital, an investment firm that identifies and quantifies the nuanced relationship between companies and their employees, and invests in human capital factors that are linked to long-term stock price performance. Last month, Irrational Capital announced a strategic partnership with Jeff Ubben’s ValueAct Capital, a firm that shares their belief in the importance of the impact of corporate culture on long-term enterprise value.
Our conversation starts with Dan’s journey studying pain and intuition and turns to applications of his research in the corporate setting. We discuss his research process, measurement of human capital, applying experiments to an investment strategy, employee motivation and compensation schemes as investment factors, and constructing a portfolio of factors based purely on human capital. We close by touching on Dan’s projects in government and with start-ups.
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