Behavioral economics and experimental policy evaluations

This course introduces experimental tools for evaluating, and behavioral approaches in designing public policies, often related to the buzzword of “Nudging”. We will first study the methods for experimental policy evaluation, in particular, the Dos and Don'ts in designing RCTs and how to interpret experimental results. The course then covers selected pieces of lab as well as field evidence from behavioral economics that demonstrate how individual behavior deviates from the paradigm of a fully rational, selfish decision making. We discuss several studies that test “behaviorally informed” policies, e.g., on increasing voter turnout, charity contributions or compliance with taxes.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.

Instructor