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ECON 233
Behavioral Economics and Public Policy Spring 2021
Division II

Class Details

In many ways, the fields of psychology and economics both study the same phenomena: the incentives that influence our decision-making across different contexts. This course provides a survey of the ways in which these two fields intersect, i.e. behavioral economics. Topics include how individual responses to economic incentives can be influenced by heuristics, framing, social norms, and other cognitive or social motives, as well as how these concepts are incorporated into microeconomics models. Concurrently, the course will review how these concepts are being applied to firm strategy, development, and public policy contexts. These include the role of behavioral economics in programs geared towards reducing poverty, increasing environmental conservation, and encouraging education investment, among others. The course will also discuss whether and how we ought to judge which behaviors are socially desirable and worth encouraging through policy.
The Class: Format: lecture; Remote. We will have regular recorded lectures that you watch on your own time, and occasional meetings during class time via Zoom for a mix of lecture and discussion.
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 5046
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: One midterm, one final exam, 3-5 problem sets, and 1-2 writing assignments
Prerequisites: ECON 110
Enrollment Preferences: I will accept a mix of majors, non-majors, and underclassmen
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses

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