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ECON4260 - Behavioral Economics

Course content

This course provides an overview of behavioral economics. Behavioral economics incorporates descriptively accurate assumptions about cognitive ability, social interaction, moral motivation, and emotional responses into economic modeling and explores the implications of this for human behavior and economic outcomes. These assumptions are often motivated by empirical findings in psychology, sociology and related disciplines, as well as the field of experimental economics. Behavioral economics seeks to generate theoretical insights, make more accurate predictions of field phenomena, and suggest welfare improving policies.

Main topics:

  • Behavioral decision theory
  • Time inconsistency and self-control
  • Social preferences and fairness

Learning outcome

Knowledge
You should

  • become familiar with the most important contributions to behavioral economics,
  • be able to critically assess the importance of these findings for the understanding of economic behavior
  • in particular, be able to discuss the following problem: How descriptively accurate assumptions about human behavior do we need for economic analysis?

Skills
You should

  • become familiar with the most important contributions to behavioral economics,
  • be able to critically assess the importance of these findings for the understanding of economic behavior, in particular, be able to discuss the following problem: How descriptively accurate assumptions about human behavior do we need for economic analysis?

Competence
You should

  • be able to read and understand project reports and journal articles that make use of the concepts and methods that are introduced in the course
  • be able to make use of the course content in your own academic work, for example in analyses that are part of the master’s thesis

Admission

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in StudentWeb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

International applicants, if you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

The examination in this course is not available for external candidates. Only students admitted to the course may sit for the examination.

Prerequisites

Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Economics, or equivalent

Recommended previous knowledge

ECON3200 - Microeconomics and game theory / ECON4200 - Microeconomics and game theory or ECON3215 - Microeconomics (discontinued) / ECON4215 - Microeconomics (discontinued)

Teaching

Lectures: 2 hours a week throughout the semester.

Seminars: 2 hours a week through parts of the semester.

There might occur weeks exempt from teaching.

Examination

A 3-hour written school exam.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The problem set will be given in English. Answers can be given in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or in English. See § 6.4 i Forskrift om studier og eksamener ved Universitetet i Oslo .

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

You may request an explanation of your grades, and you may also appeal against your grades or make a complaint about formal examination errors. Read more about explanations and appeals.

Resit an examination

You can usually resit an exam, but the conditions depend on whether you had a valid reason for absence from the regular exam. Read more about resitting an exam.

The Department of Economics has passed following resolution for ECON-courses: It will no longer be possible for candidates to register for an exam in a lower level course after having passed exams in intermediate and advanced level courses in the same subject area (also where there are no pre-requisites that apply to the intermediate course). Further information can be found here.

Students who might wish to retake the exam later, are not guaranteed that the course is ever repeated with a similar reading list, nor that the exam arrangement will be the same.

Withdrawal from an examination

A student may sit this exam up to 3 times. If a student wishes to withdraw from the exam, s/he must do so in StudentWeb at least two weeks prior to the first day of the exam. Failure to do so will be counted as one of the three opportunities to sit the exam.

Special examination arrangements

If you have a disability or a health problem that entails significant inconvenience in an examination situation, you may be considered for special examination arrangements. Mothers who are breastfeeding may apply for extra time to complete the exam.

Evaluation

Feedback from our students is essential to us in our efforts to ensure and further improve the high quality of our programmes and courses. All courses are subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students on a particular course to participate in a more comprehensive, periodic evaluation of this course.

Facts about this course

Credits

10

Level

Master

Teaching

Autumn 2014

Spring 2013

Examination

Spring 2013

Teaching language

English

Semester pages

Teaching schedule, syllabus, examination date