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EC345: Behavioural Economics: Theory and Applications

  • Alexander Dobson

    Module Leader
  • Mahnaz Nazneen

    Module Lecturer
15 CATS - Department of Economics
Spring Module
Autumn Module

Principal Aims

EC345-15 Behavioural Economics: Theory and Applications

Principal Learning Outcomes

Key Skills The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Demonstrate knowledge of laboratory and field experimentation. Lectures, seminars, independent study and reading. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Examination

Subject knowledge and understanding Understand the rationale for the study of behavioural economics and to be able to describe the key theoretical and empirical tools of modern behavioural economics. Present a good understanding of economic behaviour involving agents The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study and reading. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Examination

Subject knowledge and understanding Develop plausible models of behaviour that cannot be explained by the standard economic rational agent-based theories The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study and reading. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Examination

Key Skills Able to communicate an understanding of behavioural economics using appropriate methodologies The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study and reading. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Examination

Professional skills Understand contemporary economic models founded on behavioural economics and increasingly used by practitioners in a variety of fields from government to companies. The teaching and learning methods that enable students to achieve this learning outcome are: Lectures, seminars, independent study and reading. The summative assessment methods that measure the achievement of this learning outcome are: Examination

Syllabus

The syllabus will cover both theory and application of Behavioural Economics. It will typically include topics such as:Theory1. Prospect Theory - Effect of reference dependent preferences, loss aversion (sometimes called the endowment effect), present bias and social preferences, in the labour, financial and other markets.2. The relationship between choice utility and subjective well-being3. Economics of HappinessApplications1. Addiction - Review the standard rational model of addiction (Becker & Murphy). Effect of time-inconsistency on consumption, internalities and multiple-selves. Illustration of policy interventions and the implications for the setting of taxes on commodities such as alcohol and tobacco.2. Dishonesty - from incentive compatability where truth telling is induced to dishonesty as an empirical regularity (focus on the work by Dan Ariely) Also report on experiments involving incorrect bills in restaurants - do diners react by notifying the waiter if the mistake is in their favour?3. Implications for policy - with reference to competition and consumer policies we shall look at the idea of Nudge based policies and contrast these with traditional incentive market-based policies. The course will have an emphasis on the empirical identification of the different models, but it does not require an advanced econometric knowledge.

Context

Optional Module
L100 - Year 3, L103 - Year 4, L116 - Year 3, L117 - Year 4, LM1D (LLD2) - Year 3, LM1H - Year 4, GL11 - Year 3, GL12 - Year 4, V7ML - Year 3, V7MM - Year 4, V7MP - Year 3, V7MR - Year 3, LA99 - Year 3, R9L1 - Year 4, R3L4 - Year 4, R4L1 - Year 4, R2L4 - Year 4, R1L4 - Year 4, L1L8 - Year 3
Pre or Co-requisites
Modules: EC202-30 or EC204-30
Part-year Availability for Visiting Students
Not available on a part-year basis

Assessment

Assessment Method
2 hour examination (Summer) (100%)
Coursework Details
2 hour examination (Summer) (100%)
Exam Timing
Summer

Exam Rubric

Time Allowed: 2 hours.

Answer ALL FOUR questions from Section A (18 marks each) and ONE question from Section B (28 marks). Answer Section A questions in one booklet and Section B questions in a separate booklet.

Approved pocket calculators are allowed.

Read carefully the instructions on the answer book provided and make sure that the particulars required are entered on each answer book. If you answer more questions than are required and do not indicate which answers should be ignored, we will mark the requisite number of answers in the order in which they appear in the answer book(s): answers beyond that number will not be considered.

Previous exam papers can be found in the University’s past papers archive. Please note that previous exam papers may not have operated under the same exam rubric or assessment weightings as those for the current academic year. The content of past papers may also be different.

Reading Lists