Introduction to Behavioural Economics (expired)

ECS560 Introduction to Behavioural Economics (expired)

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    The course will provide a PhD-level introduction to Behavioural Economics - the application of insights and research findings from psychology (and other disciplines, including neuroscience) to economics.

    We will explore both how ideas in behavioural economics are being formalized in economic analysis, and how they are being tested using a wide range of methods, ranging from lab experiments to field studies.  The first part of the course will focus on attempts to formulate more realistic accounts of human preferences - e.g., that incorporate utility from ego, or self-image.  We will also discuss the role of emotions, and of people's ability to predict their own future preferences. 

    The second part of the course will focus on different aspects of information processing and beliefs.  We will examine, and raise questions about, standard economic conceptions of how people deal with information and form beliefs, and then examine new psychological models that seek to provide a more realistic account of these processes. 

  • Learning outcome

    After completing this course, the student will be able to


    • formulate realistic accounts of human preferences and understanding of psychological models in economics.


    • choose appropriate psychological models to account for human preferences. 

  • Required prerequisites

    Successful completion of an introductory economics course on the doctoral level.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Participation in class

  • Assessment

    Individual term paper

  • Grading Scale



ECTS Credits


Course responsible

Lecturer: George Loewenstein, Carnegie Mellom University

Course responsible: Bertil Tungodden, Department of Economics