Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Advanced Behavioral Economic Theory

Date: 30 October 2018 - 20 December 2018
Location: Wageningen University

This PhD course covers the most important ideas in behavioral economics, diving deep into primary sources of theoretical and empirical research. Behavioral economics has become an influential sub-field over the past few decades. In fact, the most recent Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Richard Thaler for his foundational work.

Neoclassical economic models assume that decision makers are rational and self-interested with consistent preferences over time, and that deviations from these assumptions are not systematic. Behavioral economics has challenged this approach, by taking into account knowledge from other fields, principally psychology, and using experimental methods to build rigorous models of human behavior.

This course will takes a cross-cutting approach: even if the research goal is not explicitly to test a hypothesis that falls under one of these categories, accounting for these factors can help researchers to better design studies covering a broad range of themes.

The course is intended for PhD candidates in economics or related fields. Participants should have knowledge of basic economic theory and be able to solve basic optimization problems.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this PhD course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the key topics of behavioral economic theory listed above. Specifically, students should operationalize this knowledge in order to:
    • Understand both the mechanics of each formal model covered, as well as analyze the models to deduce the underlying logic.
    • Apply these theories to explain economic behavior.
    • Apply this knowledge the student’s respective field of study.
    • Evaluate the empirical evidence supporting these models.

In addition, students should develop skills to:

  • Independently read and understand articles in peer-reviewed journals that include behavioral economic models.
  • Create models of economic behavior for thier own research.

Target group

PhD candidates in Economics, Management Decision Support, or other Social Science students who have a solid foundation in Economic theory or mathematical modelling. Min/max number of participants: 5/10.

Assumed Prior Knowledge

Basic economic theory. The course complements Advanced Microeconomics (ECH-51806), which presents the conventional approach to microeconomic theory and Behavioral and Experimental Economics (ECH-51306), which concentrates on empirical methods in experimental economics and is open to bachelors and masters students. (Though these courses are not required prerequisites.)

Intended credits4.0 ECTS
Course organisationWageningen School of Social Sciences
More informationCourse website