Choose any one of the 3 options for the final project
Literature review (5 pages)
The goal of this research project is to examine recent empirical evidence on a tropic of your choice within behavioral economics. Research at least 3 recent published articles by economists on a topic of your choice. Describe your research area or question, methods and findings in the articles. Use JSTOR article database on ESC library site, choose ‘Economics’, year 2015-present, and your keywords in advanced search. Examples of topics within which you can develop a research question are overconfidence, nudging, negotiations, etc. For example, the following articles would fall under ‘motivated beliefs’:
Epley, Nicholas, and Thomas Gilovich. 2016. “The Mechanics of Motivated Reasoning.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 30 (3): 133–40. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.30.3.133
Bénabou, Roland, and Jean Tirole. 2016. “Mindful Economics: The Production, Consumption, and Value of Beliefs.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 30 (3): 141–64. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.30.3.141
Golman, Russell, George Loewenstein, Karl Ove Moene, and Luca Zarri. 2016. “The Preference for Belief Consonance.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 30 (3): 165–88. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.30.3.165
Gino, Francesca, Michael I. Norton, and Roberto A. Weber. 2016. “Motivated Bayesians: Feeling Moral While Acting Egoistically.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 30 (3): 189–212. https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.30.3.189
Research paper topic suggestions
How can we get people to act the way we want? We want them to recycle, eat healthier food, save more for retirement, vote in the elections, study harder, put in their best effort at work? How can a company sell more without spending more on marketing? Behavioral economics provides insights. You, me, a manager, and the government – on all levels we can use incentives to nudge people into making the right choices, and we can appeal to emotions to trick people into making the right choices. Use one of the links below to further research your favorite social or business problem and solutions/ insights offered by behavioral economists. Describe your problem and solutions in a research paper.
- Why women prefer male bosses – atlantic, gender aspects of decisions
- Mind, society and behavior – BE can help design policies for developing countries
- Guide to Behavioral Economics – cutting edge research, examples
- Behavioral topics on lemonade.com
- Evolutionary psychology of mating – podcast
- The Psychology of Everything by Paul Bloom (Yale)
- If You’re So Free, Why Do You Follow Others? Nicholas Christakis (Harvard)
- Kanneman’s lectures on thinking about thinking – edge
- Behavioral Economics in Action – edx course
- The Science of Everyday Thinking – edx course
- Behavioral econ and management – Deloitt
- Ariely: How equal do we want the world to be? – ted
- Policy and choice – behavioral econ for public finance
- Mean Genes by Burnham & Phelan, find chapters here – evolutionary origins of behavior
- ‘The Happy Danes’ – what makes Denmark the happiest country in the world?
- Job satisfaction report – some aspects of job satisfaction
- Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs memory – ted
- How motivation is driven by purpose – video – does money matter?
- Behavioral Econ and Psychology of Incentives – pdf
- Pink: The puzzle of motivation – ted
- Ariely: What makes us feel good about our work? – ted
- Mullainathan: Solving social problems with a nudge – TED
- Why ‘nudges’ may not work – the Atlantic
- Thailer and Varian’s talk on BE – 1h video, examples of nudges
- Policy and choice: public finance through BE – Brookings book
- The business of BE – forbes, applications to health and charitable giving
- What happened after Zappos eliminated bosses? – the atlantic
- Congo dandies: living in poverty and spending a fortune – irrational behavior?
- Upside of Irrationality Ch4: The Not-Invented-Here Bias – Ariely
- Why we should use behavioral econ to design technology that does not kill us – singularity
- Film with Ariely -youtube
Book reaction paper
Read a book, summarize its main ideas, respond with your insights and examples. Why is this issue important? What interesting facts have you learned from this book? What methods do the authors use to draw conclusions? Where can results be applied in the real world? What part of the issue is possibly controversial, and why? Use examples, numbers, quotes, and cite your sources. Suggested books:
- Jonah Berger, Invisible Influences
- Uri Gneezy and John List, The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life
- Brian Wansink, Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life
- Paul Dolan, Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think
- Richard Thaler, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
- Dan Ariely, Irrationally Yours: On Missing Socks, Pickup Lines, and Other Existential Puzzles
Gary Belsky, Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes And How To Correct Them: Lessons From The New Science Of Behavioral Economics.
- Dan Ariely, “Predictably Irrational”
- Dan Ariely, The Upside of Irrationality
- Dan Ariely, Honest Truth about dishonesty
- Kahneman, Thinking fast and slow and Video interview related to the book
- Thaler and Sunstein, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness
- David Spiegelhalte and Michael Blastland, The Norm Chronicles
- Gerd Gigerenzer, Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions
- Gerd Gigerenzer, Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious
This is one example how you may want to structure your report based on one of Ariely’s books:
- 1. What kinds of behavioral puzzles are described in the book?
- 2. Why is this behavior puzzling for classical economists?
- 3. What kinds of experiments are conducted?
- 4. What are the researchers’ conclusions?
- 5. Can you come up with your own examples of behavioral puzzles?