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Behavioural Economics | Short course at the Summer School at Warwick University

Behavioural Economics

Behavioural economics is one of the fastest growing branches of economics and relaxes many of the assumptions of traditional economic theory.

In this course, we will consider the traditional theories and models of economics and analyse how behavioural economics begins to move away from these models, by relaxing traditional assumptions. By doing this, behavioural economics looks to explain how agents actually behave in practice and what factors can sometimes explain seemingly irrational behaviour. The course will expose students to several major topics in Behavioural Economics and will look to link theory with empirical applications.

We will analyse the role of behavioural economics in the context of both consumer and firm behaviour. In particular, the course will focus on departures from neoclassical preferences and from rational expectations.

Key Information

Level: Introductory to intermediate
Teaching: 60 hours
Expected independent study: 90 hours
Optional assessment: 2-hour examination

Typical credit: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU) - please check with your home institution.

This course can also be combined with our Exploring British Culture week - find out more.

Some of the topics that will be covered in this course include:

  • Strategic Thinking
  • Reference Dependent Preferences and Loss Aversion.
  • Social Preferences.
  • Hyperbolic Discounting.
  • Naiveté and Self-Control.
  • Happiness and Adaptation.
  • The role of nudging and framing and the impact on consumer behaviour.
  • Behavioural Welfare Analysis.
  • Altruism and Cooperation.
  • Herd Behaviour.
  • Non-standard beliefs (including the gamblers' fallacy)
  • Status and social comparison
  • Individual Heterogeneity and Economic Implications
  • Experiment Design in Practice
  • Neuroeconomics

Please note changes to the syllabus and teaching team may be made over the coming months before exact set of topics are finalised.