ECON 233
Behavioral Economics and Public Policy Fall 2023
Division II
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Class Details

In many ways, the fields of psychology and economics both study the same phenomena: the motives that guide 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 psychological motives; we will also study how these concepts are incorporated into microeconomics models. Concurrently, the course will review applications of these ideas to public policy and firm strategy. For instance, we will examine how behavioral economics has informed efforts to reduce poverty, increase environmental conservation, encourage long-term financial planning, and improve health and diet outcomes, among many other topics. 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
Limit: 30
Expected: 30
Class#: 1777
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: One midterm, one final exam, 4-6 problem sets, and 1-2 writing assignments
Prerequisites: ECON 110
Enrollment Preferences: If over-enrolled, I will aim to accept a mix of years and majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: POEC Depth
POEC Skills

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