Policy in the Pub: Identity Economics


From: Thursday June 8, 2023, 5:30 pm

To: Thursday June 8, 2023, 7:00 pm

Psychologists have long studied identity and its effects over human behavior, concluding, after several decades of research that a sense of identity is both natural for humans to develop and powerfully influential, especially in decision-making behavior. There is little doubt that with the development of Identity Economics, George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton have provided the most comprehensive attempt yet to adopt the psychological concept of identity to explain economic behaviour, such as why supplicated investors would allow themselves to be fooled by Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and forego the skepticism and due diligence that would have accompanied any other investment.

Akerlof and Kranton describe Identity Economics as being at the frontier of bringing economics closer to reality. In the tradition of Gary Becker and the work of subsequent behavioural economists, they have expanded the economic utility function to incorporate identity as a key motivator of choice.

Akerlof and Kranton posit three main benefits to learning about Identity Economics:

  1. It can explain behaviour that may be seen to be detrimental to individuals, for example recent movements that are contrary to values of tolerance and inclusivity, such as Trumpism and Brexit
  2. It underpins a new externality, explaining behaviours that elicit responses in others
  3. It reveals a new way to change preferences

About the Speaker

Ryk Bliszczyk has spent the past four decades advising leaders and corporations around the globe. After 10 years practice as a psychologist he spent 15 years as a management consultant, working with Accenture in New York, The Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne and his own consultancy, Gen Group, across Australia.

As adviser and consultant Ryk has supported companies from across all sectors, from Fortune 500 global behemoths to entrepreneurial start-ups. Now, as a Leadership Psychologist, Ryk counsels and coaches senior executives. He also consults to leadership teams, on matters of teamwork and decision making and advises on strategy, structure and leadership development. His clientele span all manner of organisation, from top Australian publicly listed corporations to universities to SMEs to NFPs. Ryk also maintains a client base in Perth, supporting the rapid growth in that State. He splits his time between the 2 coasts of Australia, managing a national practice.

PhD Candidate, Griffith University, Economics Expected completion 2024
MBA, University of Chicago 1991
MBA, University of Melbourne 1991
MSc (Psychology) University of Melbourne 1984
University of Melbourne, Diploma in Education 1980
University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Science 1979


Date: Thursday 8 June 2023
Time: 6pm and runs until approximately 7pm. Attendees welcome to arrive from 5:30pm to enjoy drinks downstairs (at own cost)
Cost: Free of charge



Bookings are now closed


The Kelvin Club

14-30 Melbourne Place, Melbourne VIC 3000

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