Here you will find selected publications relevant to the book’s contents:

Edited Special Issues

Leiser, D. & Roetheli, T.F. (2010) The Financial Crisis. [Special issue of the Journal of Socio-Economics].

Leiser, D. & Azar, O. (2008) Motivation and Affect in Decision Making [Special issue of the Journal of Economic Psychology].

Leiser D., Roland-Lévy Ch. and Sevón G. (1990) Children’s economic socialization [Special issue of the Journal of Economic Psychology].

Scientific Papers

Leiser, D., & Shemesh, Y. (2018). Economic Complexities and Cognitive Hurdles: Accounting for Specific Economic Misconceptions without an Ultimate Cause. A Commentary on Boyer and Petersen. Behavioral and Brain Science.

Leiser, D., Duani, N., & Wagner-Egger, P. (2017). The conspiratorial style in lay economic thinking. PLoS ONE, 12(3), e0171238.

Leiser, D., & Kril, Z. (2017). How Laypeople Understand the Economy. In R. Ranyard (Ed.), Economic Psychology: The Science of Economic Mental Life and Behaviour: Wiley-Blackwell.

Leiser, D., Benita, R., & Bourgeois-Gironde, S. (2016). Differing conceptions of the causes of the economic crisis: Effects of culture, economic training, and personal impact. Journal of Economic Psychology, 53, 154-163.

Kril, Z., Leiser, D., & Spivak, A. (2016). What Determines the Credibility of the Central Bank of Israel in the Public Eye? International Journal of Central Banking, 12(1), 67-94.

Ziv, I., & Leiser, D. (2013). The need for central resources in answering questions in different domains: Folk psychology, biology, and economics. Journal of cognitive psychology, 25(7), 816-832.

Leiser, D., Bourgeois-Gironde, S., & Benita, R. (2010). Human foibles or systemic failure—Lay perceptions of the 2008–2009 financial crisis. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 39(2), 132-141.

Leiser, D., & Azar, O. H. (2008). Behavioral economics and decision making: Applying insights from psychology to understand how people make economic decisions. Journal of Economic Psychology, 29(5), 613-618.

Leiser, D. and R. Aroch.  (2009). Lay understanding of macroeconomic causation: the good-begets-good heuristic. Applied Psychology, 58(3), 370-384.

Leiser, D., Azar, O. H., & Hadar, L. (2008). Psychological construal of economic behavior. Journal of Economic Psychology, 29(5), 762-776.

Leiser, D., & Beth Halachmi, R. (2006). Children’s understanding of market forces. Journal of Economic Psychology.27(1), 6-19.

Allen, M.W., Ng, S.H. & Leiser, D.(2005)  Adult Economic Model and Values Survey: Cross-national Differences in Economic and Related General Beliefs. Journal of Economic Psychology, 26, 159-185.

Leiser, D., & Drori, S. (2005). Naive understanding of inflation. Journal of Socio-Economics, 34(2), 179-198.

Bastounis, M., Leiser, D., & Roland-Levy, C (2004). Psychosocial variables involved in the construction of lay thinking about the economy: results of a cross-national survey. Journal of Economic Psychology  25(2), 263-278

A more complete list of publications is available at ResearchGate

Order The Book

Click a retailer below

Praise & Reviews

“This book is a must read for economists playing an active role in the public debate. It explains why so many relevant economic messages are lost in translation

Widespread misunderstandings arise, according to Leiser and Shemesh, because laypeople are socially encouraged to have a view on complex economic issues, and are over-confident in their capacity to address these issues based on a combination of anecdotes, naive theories, and misleading metaphors.

Identifying the cognitive traits that make people perceptions diverge from the way of thinking of economists is a first indispensable step towards finding ways to bridge the communication gap between economists and the general public"

Tito Boeri, Economics, Bocconi University, Italy

President, INPS, Italy Social Security and Pension Authority


"For decades economists have tidily cultivated their own scientific gardens and forgotten that complex socio-economic issues may be effectively tackled with better knowledge of human beings on top of sophisticated equations. A plea for a multidisciplinary approach, this book is a much-needed attempt to foster dialogue and bridge the cognitive segmentation of social sciences."

Elsa Fornero, Professor of Economics, Turin, Italy

Former Minister of Labor and Social Affairs (Monti Government)


An easily accessible and inspiring starting point especially for economists who want to learn what psychology has to offer

A better understanding of how laypeople perceive ... the economic environment in which they act helps us to develop more adequate models – both in micro- and macroeconomics.
These models can help us ... design better policies.
[The book explains] why voters often oppose policies that economists consider helpful and/or support policies not considered helpful.”

Ivo Bischoff, Economics, Kassel University, Germany

Book review for the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics


“This engagingly written book takes us above and beyond traditional judgment and decision-making studies and the heuristics and biases of behavioral economics to explore how people develop explanatory models and concepts in the domain of economics.

It contains many fascinating insights into the challenges laypeople have in understanding seemingly simple but deeply complex phenomena and economic entities (e.g. money), as well as offering a bold new direction for research into a topic where greater lay understanding has enormous social policy consequences.”

– Frank Keil, Psychology, Yale University, USA

“In recent years, many economists have used psychology to understand the economy better. In their enlightening new book, Leiser and Shemesh use psychology to explain why most people understand economics so poorly.

Economics insights often butt against deep-rooted ways of thinking about the world.  And even when the lessons of economics are intuitive, economists’ rhetoric is not.

How We Misunderstand Economics and Why It Matters is a great book for anyone who wants to understand the economy – or explain it to others.”

– Bryan Caplan, Economics, George Mason University, USA

“Economic ignorance is still quite often considered as a peccadillo.
This mistaken estimate is not only regrettable but has fatal consequences for individual and societal wellbeing – as attested by a series of recent disastrous decisions at the personal, national and global level.

The book by Leiser and Shemesh is an excellent example of how profound, rigorous and multidisciplinary research can shed light into the black box of everyday economic reasoning.
It stimulates fresh and inspiring ideas on how we can tackle the problem of economic illiteracy, and thus ought to become compulsory reading for all those concerned with the education of economically well-informed and mature citizens.”

Book review for the International Review of Economics Education

– Carmela Aprea, Business School

University of Mannheim, Germany

“Given the broad implications of faulty reasoning in the economic sphere for individuals as well as for society, this book is a must read for laypeople, policy makers, government officials as well as students.

(...) This is a scholarly work with over 500 references, well-grounded in academic theory and empirical work. At the same time, it is a highly enjoyable read, (...)  sprinkled with vignettes, scenarios, narratives, and cartoons."

– Esther Greenglass, York University

Book Review for the Journal of Economic Psychology - (June 2019)

"The failure of the public to understand the principles of economics undermines the efficiency of public policies."

David Leiser and Yhonatan Shemesh provide an elegant and striking analysis of the behavioural origins of public misperceptions of the logic and developmentof modern economics, and of their implications for public policy.

Egor Bronnikov , National Research University Higher School of Economic, Moscow

Book review for the Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy


Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you or read your reactions to the book.

To contact us, please write to or use the following form.

We’ll get back to you shortly