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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS5144M Behavioural Economics

15 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Gabriel Burdin

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Behavioural Economics studies important deviations from the standard neoclassical model in terms of preferences, beliefs and decision-making. The aim of this module aims to provide an introduction to foundational concepts and theories in Behavioural Economics and their application to core issues in organisational economics and the theory of the firm (pay, incentives, authority, matching).


This module aims to:
- Introduce students to foundational concepts and theories of behavioural economics and their application to organisational economics.
- Provide an introduction to the use of experiments in economics, including both laboratory experiments and field experiments with firms.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
- Critically evaluate key theoretical and empirical tools of modern behavioural economics.
- Apply concepts drawn from behavioural economics to answer core questions in organizational economics (pay, incentives, authority, job design).
- Read, evaluate and synthesise state-of-the art research in the field.


Indicative content:

Part I: Foundations
1.1 Nonstandard preferences: Reference-dependent preferences, time-inconsistency, social preferences
1.2 Nonstandard beliefs: overconfidence
1.3 Nonstandard decision-making, emotions.

Part II: Behavioural economics of organisations
2.1 Economic organisation: core issues
2.2 Pay and incentives
2.3 Allocation of authority and power, control, delegation.
2.4 Peer effects and team production
2.5 Matching workers and organizations

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours134.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study will be supported by requiring students to locate and read journal articles. It will also occur via providing sets of practice questions. These also present opportunities for formative feedback, particularly during seminars and through academic support hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will make oral presentations in groups and work on sets of practice questions during the course. This will provide extensive opportunities for formative feedback, particularly during seminars and through academic support hours. Part of the formal assessment will be based on a written referee report on assigned research papers (see below). Students will have the opportunity of receiving formative feedback on mock "referee reports" of short research papers distributed by the instructor.

Students will form groups and present research papers during seminars. This is a formative assessment, but will be formally assessed in one specific exam question. Practice questions will be distributed during the course to facilitate exam preparation for students. Students’ progress in their command of theoretical concepts and applications will be monitored in seminars and through academic support hours. This will permit identification of struggling students and provisions of guidance and detailed feedback.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Resit for this module will be 100% examination.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/09/2021 11:11:59


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