ECON 476
Behavioral Economics: Theory and Methods Fall 2023
Division II
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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, lectures, and class discussions will focus on academic papers that use behavioral economics 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; Classes will be a mix of lectures and discussion sessions. The lectures will provide a broad overview of a specific topic or theory. Discussion sessions will center on a single academic paper (related to a topic covered in a previous lecture) that students will have read before class.
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1809
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: one 15-25 page research paper, approximately eight 1-2 page responses to assigned readings, and class participation during discussion sessions
Prerequisites: ECON 251; ECON 255 or STAT 346
Enrollment Preferences: Economics majors
Distributions: Division II

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