This course seeks to provide an introduction to behavioural economics at the undergraduate level. It will draw on foundational theories related to behavioural economics and place them in the context of traditional economic theory that makes the assumptions of homoeconomicus (i.e., rational, self-interested, utility-maximizing individual). The course will first establish fundamental principles in behavioural economics and then explore the methods through which behavioural economics is applied in research, typically via experiments and randomized controlled trials. The final unit will inculcate thinking in behavioural economics by showing its many applications to public policy, businesses, and civil society.
Any individual who:
This session will provide an introduction to the field of behavioural economics, and applying psychology to economic decision-making. It will start with the history of Behavioural Economics, and cover seminal work related to Bounded Rationality, Prospect Theory (Loss Aversion, Endowment Effect), Heuristics and Biases (Availability, Anchoring, Adjustment, Framing), and intertemporal decision-making. It will conclude with why these are important for us to examine from a view to understand human behaviour.
Having covered the fundamentals of BE, we will move to discussing novel and more contemporary work in behavioural sciences and economics. This will include a study of reference-dependent preferences, cognitive biases, Consumer behaviour (Choice overload, option paralysis), Mental Accounting, and why social norms and preferences (related to inequity, fairness, trust) matter.
In this session, we will introduce and critically examine experimental methods in economics as a source of evidence for behavioural economics. This will include Lab Experiments, Field Experiments, and natural Experiments. We will cover briefly the challenges with designing randomized control trials (RCTs) and what we can and cannot learn from them.
In the final session, we will discuss the impact and shortcomings of BE. This will cover also various applications of BE in Policy (Education, Health, Development, Welfare), in Business and Corporations, and extensively discuss Nudging & Choice Architecture in the vein of Thaler and Sunstein (2008).
MDAE alumni working in diverse roles across leading companies.
Trainee Decision Scientist
Senior Research Analyst
Thoroughly enjoyed the course. Also, the professor seemed quite knowledgeable. We need more teachers like him!
The course offered by the academy was very meaningful, concepts like nudges were cleared very effectively, many examples were given for more clarity and understanding.
The course was pretty good and to the point with thoughtful discussion. It never felt like we were attending a lecture.
I love to learn about the topic as it's helpful for gaining knowledge and further studies