Behavioural Economics: Theory and Practice
In this module, we rigorously and critically examine both standard economics and behavioural economics theories of decision making in depth, assessing both their merits and shortcomings. We then show how these theories can be applied to design theoretically-informed real world behavioural interventions that have real world impacts in government and industry. Finally, we discuss the considerations when implementing trials in the field as well as Behavioural Public Policy.
This module is suitable for final year Economics students as well as non-Economics students with strong mathematical background who are interested in Behavioural Economics.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Behavioural Economics: Theory and Practice|
BEE1024 (or equivalent); BEE2025. Students with strong mathematical background (e.g. mathematics, computer science, data science, finance) interested in this module are encouraged to contact the convener even if you do not meet the pre-requisite requirements.
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
Students will be equipped with in depth knowledge of behavioural economic theories and knowledge of how economics and behavioural economics may be used to design impactful interventions in the real world. At the end of the module, students should have comparable skills and level of knowledge to those of a professional practitioner. As part of the assessment, students will design a professional-standard field trial proposal. This module aims to encourage students to become independent, critical thinkers. It will also encourage students to think carefully how they can utilise mathematical and problem solving skills acquired throughout their degree to tackle new problems.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. explain real world behaviour mathematically using standard and behavioural economic theories;
- 2. apply economic and behavioural economic theories to design behavioural solutions;
- 3. demonstrate in depth knowledge and understanding of behavioural economic theories.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. solve economic decision problems;
- 5. critically evaluate the relevance of both standard and behavioural economics in different contexts.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 6. critically analyse existing ideas and status quo practices;
- 7. approach, structure, analyse and solve problems in a logical manner;
- 8. identify and challenge assumptions;
- 9. design intervention trials and carry out power calculations;
- 10. produce high quality technical written work.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||22||Lectures|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||5||Tutorials|
|Guided Independent Study||123||Problem Sets, readings and assignment|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Practice Exercises x 6||1 hour||1-8||Oral and Written|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Assignment||40||2000 words max||1-10||Written or Oral|
|Final Exam||60||2 hours||1-9||Written or Oral|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Assignment (40%)||Assignment (2,000 words, 40%)||1-9||August/September Reassessment Period|
|Final Exam (60%)||Exam (2 hours, 60%)||1-8||August/September Reassessment Period|
The topics that we may cover (but not limited to):
- Models of Time-Inconsistent Preferences
- Models of Reference Dependent Preferences
- Behavioural Intervention Design
- Field Trial Design
- Libertarian Paternalism
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
There is no textbook for this module. Reading list (journal articles) will be posted on ELE.
Module has an active ELE page?
Last revision date