The standard model of economic behavior describes a perfectly rational, self-interested utility maximizer with unlimited cognitive resources. In many cases, this provides a good approximation to the types of behavior that economists are interested in. However, over the past 30 years, experimental and behavioral economists have documented ways in which the standard model is not just wrong, but is wrong in ways that are important for economic outcomes. Understanding these behaviors, and their implications are one of the most exciting areas of current economic inquiry. This course will study three important topics within behavioral economics: Bounded rationality, temptation and self-control and reference-dependent preferences. It will draw on research from behavioral economics, experimental economics, decision theory, psychology, and neuroscience in order to describe the models that have been developed to explain failures of the standard approach, the evidence in support of these models, and their economic implications.
Prerequisites: ECON UN3211 and ECON UN3213
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