Confronting decision theory with experimental data and vice versa

ECS573 Confronting decision theory with experimental data and vice versa

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024
  • Topics

    The goal of the course is to review the intersection of the theoretical and experimental research on preferences for personal and social consumption and attitudes toward risk, time and inequality. These preferences and attitudes are important inputs into any broader measure of social welfare and enter virtually every realm of individual decision-making. This research's fundamental contributions to understanding these preferences and attitudes will therefore have broad-reaching implications for human interactions. Developing appropriate methods for confronting the basic theory of choice with empirical or experimental evidence has implications in many areas of economic theory and policy. This knowledge is obviously important for the formulation of economic policy, but it has implications for a host of applications beyond economics. Finally, the entire apparatus that will be discussed, theory, experimental methodology, and econometric methods for linking theory to data, can provide useful tools in a range of fields interested in examining individual choices.

  • Learning outcome

    At the end of the course, students will:


    • be able to explain recent advances in behavioral economics
    • be able to incorporate behavioral biases into mainstream economic models in a variety of areas
    • be able to model social preferences


    At the end of the course, students will be able to pose new research questions in behavioral economics.

    General competence

    At the end of the course, students will:

    • be able to evaluate research findings in empirical and theoretical papers in behavioral economics
    • be able to use experimental method in their own research

  • Teaching

    10 plenary lectures, student presentations and term paper.

  • Restricted access

    •PhD candidates at NHH.

    •PhD candidates from University of Bergen.

    •PhD candidates from other higher educational institutions.

    •Promising master students if approved by course responsible.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Master level Microeconomics.

  • Compulsory Activity

    Course attendance and participation in discussions after student presentations.

  • Assessment

    Individual written assignment due 6 weeks after the course ends. The assignment must be written in English.

  • Grading Scale



ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered 14-17 August 2023.

Course responsible

Professor Shachar Kariv, Berkley (main course responsible)

Professor Bertil Tungodden, Department of Economics