BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS AND PUBLIC POLICIES
- Assessment methods
- Learning objectives
- Delivery method
- Teaching methods
Basic knowledge of microeconomic and public finance theory.
It is possible to take the exam in two partial exams (mid-term exam and final exam, each lasting 1 hour), or in a general exam lasting 1 hour and half the end of the course.
Behavioral economics is a flourishing research program in recent economic analysis. Generally speaking, behavioral economics studies the effects of cognitive and emotional factors on individual economic behavior, and the aggregate consequences of this behavior on market equilibria and prices. Insights provided by behavioral economics have proved useful to shape public policies in fields such as saving, taxation, social security and health.
In the first part of the course (20 hours), Moscati introduces the main concepts and findings of behavioral economics. In the second part (20 hours), Figari discusses how these concepts and findings have been applied to public policies.
Decision making under certainty and uncertainty; intertemporal choice; strategic interaction and social preferences; modelling individual response to public policies; public policy applications: pension savings, poverty, income support and redistribution, taxation.
Part I (Moscati):
• Angner, Erik. Behavioral Economics, 2nd edition. London: Palgrave, 2016, ISBN 978-1-137-51292-5.
Available at Libreria Cortina Varese or on Amazon.it.
• Instructor's slides
Part II (Figari):
• Atkinson, A. B. and F. Bourguignon, 2015, Introduction: Income distribution today in Handbook of Income distribution, Elsevier.
• Avram, S., 2015, Benefit Losses Loom Larger than Taxes: The Effects of Framing and Loss Aversion on Behavioural Responses to Taxes and Benefits, ISER WP 2015-17
• Beaulier, Scott and Bryan Caplan (2007). Behavioral economics and perverse effects of the welfare state. Kyklos 60 (4), 485-507.
• Bertrand, Marianne, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir (2004). A behavioral-economics view of poverty. American Economic Review 94 (2), 419-423.
• Chetty, R., 2015, Behavioural Economics and Public Policy: A Pragmatic Perspective, American Economic Review, Papers and Prooceedings 105(5)
• Chetty, R., Looney A. and K. Kroft, 2009, Salience and taxation: Theory and evidence. American Economic Review 99 (4), 1145–1177
• Chetty, Raj, John N. Friedman, Soren Leth-Petersen, Torben H. Nielsen, and Tore Olsen (2014). Active vs. Passive Decisions and Crowd-out in Retirement Savings Accounts: Evidence from Denmark”, Quarterly Journal of Economics 129(3): 1141-1219
• Congdon, W.J., Kling, J. R. and Mullainathan S., 2011, Policy and Choice, Public Finance through the lens of behavioural economics, The Brookings Institution
• Congiu, L & Moscati, I., 2018, Message and Environment A Framework for Nudges and Choice Architecture, Behavioural Public Policies, forthcoming
• Dolls, M., Doerrenberg, P., Peichl, A. and H. Stichnoth, 2018, Do retirement savings increase in response to information about retirement and expected pensions? Journal of Public Economics 158, 168-179.
• Kizzy Gandy, Katy King, Pippa Streeter Hurle, Chloe Bustin and Kate Glazebrook, 2016, Poverty and decision-making. How behavioural science can improve opportunity in the UK. The Behavioural Insight team.
Lectures by instructors, class discussion conducted by instructors, presentation of papers by students.
Relevant teaching materials are available in the e-learning webspace of the course.