Spring 2020, 219B class in Psychology and Economics – Theory
This course is the continuation of the 219A class in Psychology and Economics – Theory, taught by Dmitry Taubinsky. As in 219A, we will keep emphasizing the psychological evidence as the basis for sound economic analysis. We will also insist on the importance of neoclassical theory as a successful benchmark that you are required to know. Finally, several topics of this course are designed to be the empirical counterpart of the theory covered in 219A. There are two main differences between 219A and 219B. First, this class has largely an empirical orientation, as opposed to the mostly theoretical orientation of 219B. I will present empirical papers drawn from a variety of fields (here in alphabetical order): asset pricing, corporate finance, consumption, development economics, environmental economics, health economics, industrial organization, labor economics, political economy, and public economics. As such, the class is also meant for applied students that do not intend to make Psychology and Economics one of their main fields, but want to apply a behavioral idea to their field of interest. The second main feature of the course will be its emphasis on dissertation writing. Throughout the course I will do my best to point out what seem to me like good directions for research in behavioral economics. In addition, as an incentive to get you started, one of the requirements of the course is a paper on an applied topic using field data. The 219B course also covers a set of Methodological Topics, including some of the how-to-do list for empirical behavioral research. In particular we are going to emphasize the theme of Structural Behavioral Economics, or model-based empirical research in behavioral economics. The methodological topics are integrated with the other research topics.