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School of Social Sciences

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BAEcon Economics
Learn how the social sciences can help you to understand today's world.

BAEcon Economics

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Behavioural Economics

Unit code ECON32152
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


See course Blackboard pages.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Mathematical Economics I ECON20120 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics IIA ECON20351 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Microeconomics IIB ECON20352 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
ECON32152 Behavioural Economics Pre-requisites: ECON20120 & ECON20351 & ECON20352


Expose students to the main topics in behavioural economics and advance their understanding of neoclassical microeconomics when combined with empirically and experimentally motivated assumptions, mostly based on psychological realism, while having the ultimate goal to provide a better understanding of economic behaviour and welfare implications. The main topics in Behavioural Economics are decision theory under conditions of risk and uncertainty; reference-dependent preferences and loss aversion; time-preferences; social preferences, and their applications to economics.  

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course unit, it is expected that you will be able to:

  1. Show a clear understanding of the preference conditions underlying expected and non-expected utility theories and be able to apply the theories to solve economic problems at the appropriate level.
  2. Demonstrate a profound understanding of elicitation methods based on these theories.
  3. Give a clear overview  of experimental tests for these preference conditions.
  4. To develop a framework to test particular preference  conditions or theories.
  5. Apply these new models to a variety of economic problems and derive original results.


  • Decision theory under conditions of risk and uncertainty.
  • Experimental Evidence.
  • Prospect Theory.
  • Experiments.
  • Foundations.
  • Applications.
  • Time-preferences.
  • Classical and Modern Models and Applications.
  • Social Preferences.
  • Other-regarding preferences.
  • Fairness/Reciprocity.
  • Experimental Evidence.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and tutorial classes.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Critical reflection and evaluation.
Problem solving
Planning independent research using library, electronic and online resources. Using reporting skills.
Information retrieval. Time management. Applying subject knowledge. Improving own learning.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 90%
  • Assignments (10%).
  • Final Exam - both problem solving and short essay (90%).

Feedback methods

  • Receive feedback during exercise classes where active problem solving will be implemented.
  • Experiments run in class and in-class discussions of experimental results.
  • Office hours.

Recommended reading

  • Kahneman, Knetsch, Thaler (1991) “Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias", Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(1): 193-206.
  • Kahneman, D., and Tversky, A. (1979), “Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk”, Econometrica 47, 263-291.
  • Charness and Rabin (2002) “Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests" Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(3): 817-869.
  • Johannes Abeler, Armin Falk, Lorenz Goette and David Huffman, 2011. “Reference Points and Effort Provision”, American Economic Review, Vol. 101(2): 470-492.
  • Rabin (2000), “Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem”, Econometrica, 68(5): 1281-1292.
  • Thaler (1981), “Some Empirical Evidence on Dynamic Inconsistancy”, Economics Letters 8:201-207.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 16
Tutorials 7
Independent study hours
Independent study 75.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ayse Mermer Unit coordinator

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