Spring 2020

Economics and Psychology

Listed in: Economics, as ECON-207

Moodle site: Course


Jakina Debnam Guzman (Section 01)


This course introduces the field of behavioral economics, which incorporates insights from psychology into economics with the aim of improving human welfare. Behavioral economics studies how individuals actually make decisions, which may deviate from the way "rational actors" are modeled in terms of making decisions in classical economics. Motivated by non-fiction readings and academic articles, we will use behavioral economic frameworks to characterize this actual decision-making and to explore its consequences for markets and for policy. Topics covered include prospect theory, frameworks for intertemporal choice, the importance of framing and defaults, subjective well-being, and "nudges."

Requisite: ECON 111 or ECON 111E. Limited to 30 students. Fall and spring semesters. Professor Debnam.

If Overenrolled: Some preference will be given to a) students who have taken fewer 200 level economics classes and b) economics majors. The class will be selected to achieve a group with diverse academic backgrounds and interests.


2019-20: Offered in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2021