Course Syllabus

Behavioral Economics:

European Case Studies

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Semester & Location:

Summer 2022 Session 1 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

3 credits

Major Disciplines:

Business, Economics


One course in intermediate or advanced microeconomics at university level.

Faculty Member:

Jimmy Martínez-Correa, 

Luigi Butera,

Program Director:

Susanne Goul Hovmand, 

Time & Place:

Monday to Friday (Check Syllabus for times)



Course description:

Behavioral Economics is revising the standard economic model of human behavior by integrating psychological research and economic science. This course is based on new theory and experiments by examining actual economics related human behavior. The analytical skills of the students will be developed through work with conflicting theories and with data on choices made by people based on social norms that contradict the strictly rational model. We relate this to how behavior and norms are different in the Nordic and European countries as compared to the American research material presented in class.

Learning objectives of the course:       

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand what behavioral biases are and identify domains where they exist
  • Learn how one can exploit biases in markets and through interaction with other individuals
  • Know how a range of behavioral biases (in individual decision making and interactive decisions) have been addressed in the behavioral economics literature
  • Understand the tension between traditional economics and behavioral economics, and how they might or might not explain biases
  • Be able to structure a research question on observed behavioral biases
  • Be able to test your own behavioral hypothesis with experimental methods
  • Gain the necessary skills to approach and understand the growing body of behavioral economics literature

Suggested reading:

Dan Ariely: “Predictably Irrational” (PI)
Dan Ariely: “The Upside of Irrationality” (UI)

They are easy-to-read books with several real-life examples where behavioral economics can explain puzzling phenomena.

Approach to teaching:

The course mixes theory from texts, research papers and practical exercises in experiments. The course combines discussion-based class sessions, class based experiments, team work, and team presentations through assignments. Your learning process depends on your active participation in class as well as outside the classroom. You are strongly encouraged to bring your observations into the classroom.

Expectations of the students:

We expect students to be curious and willing to engage in discussions. For the semester project we expect students to observe behavior in the real world, reflect on it, and to be able to design an experiment to test it.

Computer policy:

Laptop, tablets, and smartphones may be used in class for note-taking purposes, conducting online experiments or looking up concepts or the like while in class. But any other use (e.g. facebook, instagram, tiktok, etc...) will have a negative impact on your final grade.

Components of Course Grades:

  1. Exam First Half (15%): There will be a final exam with questions from the material covered in the whole course. It is a closed-book exam that will last 1 hour.
  2. Student presentations (10%): In rotation, students make case presentations on the topic of the day.
  3. Student participation + experiments (10%): This component covers active participation in class, performance in small assignments, in-classroom experiments and field experiments to be run during the field trips. Furthermore, students will have the responsibility (under instruction of the teacher) to run the classroom experiments. This will give a chance for students to experience what it entails to run an experiment and accumulate experience to potentially run experiments for their semester project. Students will coordinate with the instructors to find out which experiments they are responsible for. Participation is not to be confused with mere attendance during the semester. A qualitative judgment of your contribution will be made by the instructors and improper use of computers in class can for instance affect this assessment.
  4. Exam second half (15%):There will be a final exam with questions from the material covered in the whole course. It is a closed-book exam that will last 1 hour.
  5. Semester Project (50%):
    Each student will be randomly assigned to a team of approx. 4 persons.
    1. Each group has to upload 2 pages with a description of 3 possible topics for the semester project. (needs to be uploaded on, further guidelines are available here)
    2. Additionally, a 2 page peer review constructively criticizing the 3-topic proposal submitted by another class group should be uploaded (needs to be uploaded on canvas, further guidelines are available here).

      iscussions about potential topics for the semester project are made with Jimmy and Toke.

Delivering both the 3-topics proposal and the peer review are worth 5% each, for a total of 10%, only if both assignments are delivered on time.

- Building upon the two previous assignments, each group will write a 1-page semester project proposal (to be uploaded on canvas).

If the project proposal is submitted on time and the group satisfactorily defends their proposal, the group can obtain up to 5%.

Building upon feedback and all previous assignments, each group will write a 1-page with the description of the experimental design(to be uploaded on canvas).

If the experimental design description is submitted on time and the group satisfactorily defends their proposal, the group can obtain up to 5%.

- Finally, each group will write an 8-page semester project (to be uploaded on canvas).
Each group has to present and defend the project in at the end-of-semester Showcase. The written report and the presentation together counts towards the grading of the semester project. On the day of the presentations there will be a vote of the best project. Every student can vote (not allowed to vote for own group). The best group will be rewarded with a prize of 500 DKK (to be shared within the group).

Minor funding is available for conducting the experiments for the semester projects.

It is expected that the distribution of work for the semester project is evenly split among the members of each group. Therefore, the individual grade of the semester project will be the same for all members. As a consequence, it is up to the members of each group to make sure that all the members contribute equally to the semester project and no free-riding occur. If any group is having free-riding issues, group members should contact the instructors and measures will be taken on a case-by-case basis


Academic Regulations  

DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -


Course Summary:

Date Details Due