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Behavioral Economics

  • Teacher(s): L.Santos Pinto
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 6 credits
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2019-2020, 4.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Master of Science (MSc) in Economics

    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Business Analytics

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation Behaviour, Economics and Evolution

    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Strategy, Organization and Leadership

    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Marketing

[warning] This course syllabus is currently edited by the professor in charge. Please come back in a few days. --- For your information only, here is the old syllabus :

Objectives

In the last three decades there has been a behavioral revolution in Economics and Finance. This revolution came into age when the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics was attributed to Daniel Kahneman and Vernon Smith. In 2017, Richard Thaler won the Nobel prize in Economics for his innovative and pathbreaking research in Behavioral Economics. Courses in Psychology and Economics, Behavioral Economics, or Behavioral Finance are now offered regularly in most top US and European graduate programs and many students choose to specialize in these fields. The purpose of this course is to make masters students at UNIL acquainted with both seminal contributions as well as frontier research in Behavioral Economics.

Contents

1. Introduction 1.1. What is Behavioral Economics? 1.2. Five Lessons from Behavioral Economics 2. Choice under Uncertainty 2.1. Expected Utility Theory 2.2. Behavioral Facts 2.3. Behavioral Theories 2.4. Rank Dependent Utility 2.5. Prospect Theory 2.6. Koszegi and Rabin Reference-Dependent Preferences 3. Buyers, Sellers and Markets 3.1. The Endowment Effect 3.2 Explaining the Endowment Effect 3.3. Applications of Loss Aversion 3.4. Bounded Rationality 3.5. Obfuscation and Information Suppression 4. Intertemporal Choice 4.1. The Standard Dynamic Decision Theory Model 4.2. Behavioral Facts: Self-Control Problems, Preference for Immediate Gratification 4.3. Behavioral Theories 4.4. Hyperbolic Discounting 4.5. Applications: Addiction, Savings, Obesity, Smoking, Contract Design and Self-Control 4.6. Other Approaches to Intertemporal Choice 5. Heuristics and Biases in Judgment 5.1. Rationality in Judgment 5.2. Heuristics and Biases in Judgment 5.3. The “Law of Small Numbers” 5.4. Applications: Finance 6. Self-Confidence and Motivation 6.1. Self-Confidence and Motivation 6.2. Applications: Markets and Organizations 7. Behavioral Game Theory 7.1. Experimental Evidence for Limited Strategic Thinking in Humans 7.2. Non-Equilibrium Theories of Behavior in Games: Level-k Models 7.3. Applications: Auctions and Entry Games 8. Conclusion 8.1. Appraisals of Behavioral Economics 8.2. Criticisms of Behavioral Economics 8.3. Where do We Go from Here?

References

There is no textbook in Behavioral Economics so most of the lectures will follow papers. However, there are a few books that cover several topics of the course. *Camerer, Colin, George Lowenstein and Mathew Rabin. Advances in Behavioral Economics, Russel Sage Foundation and Princeton University Press, 2004. *Camerer, Colin, Behavioral Game Theory: Experiments in Strategic Interaction, Russell Sage Foundation and Princeton University Press, 2003. *Kahneman, Daniel and Amos Tversky. Choices, Values and Frames, New York: Russell Sage Foundation; Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Thaler, Richard H. The Winner’s Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life, Princeton University Press, 1994. Thaler, Richard. Quasi Rational Economics, New York, N.Y.: Russell Sage Foundation, 1991. Elster, Jon and George Loewenstein. Choice over Time, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1992. Kahneman, Daniel, Paul Slovic, and Amos Tversky, eds., Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases, Cambridge University Press, 1982. Gigerenzer, Gerd, Todd, P. M., and The ABC Research Group, Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart, Oxford University Press, 1999.

Evaluation


 

First attempt


 
Exam:
Without exam (cf. terms)  
Evaluation:

Participation during lectures (10%) + take-home problem sets (60%) + presentation of a journal article (30%)


 

Retake


 
Exam:
Written 3h00 hours
Documentation:
Not allowed
Calculator:
Not allowed
Evaluation:

If you fail the course, you have to make the retake exam which counts for 100%



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