ECON 476
Behavioral Economics: Theory and Methods Spring 2021
Division II
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Class Details

Behavioral economics emphasizes that models in economics should account for the psychological plausibility of their assumptions and consequences. This course will cover how the field has incorporated insights from psychology into standard microeconomics models of decision-making. In the process, we will review the different methods that are used to empirically test the psychological foundations of these models, including laboratory experiments, field experiments, and quasi-experimental analysis. Assignments and class discussions will focus on academic papers that use behavioral models to study a variety of topics, such as household finance, public policy, consumer marketing, and others. Throughout the semester, students will also work towards formulating and completing their own original research project.
The Class: Format: seminar; Remote. We will have a mix of recorded lectures that you watch on your own time, and regular class meetings on Zoom. The Zoom meetings will often involve in-depth analysis and discussion of academic publications that students will have read ahead of time. On other occasions, it will instead involve discussing progress on student research projects.
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 5070
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: one 15- to 25-page research paper, multiple shorter research-based writing assignments, and class participation
Prerequisites: ECON 251; ECON 255 or STAT 346
Enrollment Preferences: Economics majors. Juniors considering an economics thesis next year should inform the professor during pre-registration.
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses

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