Nijmegen, Netherlands

Experiments in Behavioral Economics - Methodology and Applications

when 3 August 2021 - 7 August 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC

A usual complaint about economic theory courses we hear from students sounds like "but it does not work like this in real life!"
Unfortunately, studying general cases takes too much time to explain that life is a special case of a general rule. During the course we will reconcile theory and practice: we will see how mental and emotional filters shape the choices people make personally and as a group within an experimental setup and via social networks.

This will be done in a form of game lab experiments and analysis of experimental results. You will be given appropriate methodology and at the end of the course you will design your own experiment aimed at suggestions in public policy or business strategy.

The topics discussed during the course will be:

• Homo Economicus concept revision: rationality vs egoistic behavior
• Constraints revision: are there only time and budget constraints?
•Why economics needs psychology
• Emotions, and cognitive schemes
• Interactive experiment
•Discussion of the results of the experiment
• Public good game basic setup: what is new?
• Trust, prosocial and antisocial punishment
• Dictator and Ultimatum games - main results and real life applications
• The decision architecture: from heuristics to conditional probability
• Lab experiments methodology: data collection and exploration, clustering and regression in public good games, linear regression and • Dictator and Ultimatum games, statistical sampling
• Heuristics: main findings from behavioral economics literature
• Decisions under uncertainty and probabilistic mistakes, conditional probability and association rules
• Nudges: a novel approach to law-making or a manipulation?
• Hypothesis testing
• Well-being and happiness: behavioral economics approach, classifying behaviors

Course leader

Nadezhda Shilova
Leading research fellow, associate professor
Faculty of Economic Sciences
National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE)
Moscow, Russia

Mario Rosario Guarracino
staff researcher
High Performance Computing and Net

Target group

• Advanced Bachelor
• Master
• PhD

The course will be interesting for several target groups. First of all, students of economic faculties might be interested in how psychological constraints alter people's decisions, and how these changes affect economics outcomes . Then, students of marketing faculties might be interested in new promotion strategies suggested by behavioral economists. Students of management and law faculties would appreciate the theory of nudges and their philosophical meaning in terms of law­ making and management in organizations. Finally, professionals and practitioners with data analytics skills, who are interested in understanding how programming and analytics abilities find application in behavioural economics studies .

Course aim

After this course you are able to :

1. Understand behavioural patterns of economic agents;
2. Improve own decision making schemes and make better decisions;
3. Design and perform economic experiments given marketing or governmental policy aims, analyse the results;
4. Give policy suggestions in the related spheres.

Fee info

EUR 0: Fee and date will be announced in the fall. Registration opens December 1st 2020. The fee includes the registration fees, course materials, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, lunch, and a number of social activities.