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Course, academic year 2023/2024
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Behavioral Economics - JEB147
Title: Behavioral Economics
Czech title: Behavioral Economics
Guaranteed by: Institute of Economic Studies (23-IES)
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Actual: from 2023
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 5
Examination process: winter s.:written
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:2/0, Ex [HT]
Capacity: 97 / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
Guarantor: doc. PhDr. Julie Chytilová, Ph.D.
doc. PhDr. Michal Bauer, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): doc. PhDr. Michal Bauer, Ph.D.
doc. PhDr. Julie Chytilová, Ph.D.
Iñaki Alberto Veruete Villegas
Class: Courses for incoming students
Pre-requisite : JEB104
Annotation -
Last update: doc. PhDr. Julie Chytilová, Ph.D. (15.09.2023)
This course introduces the key concepts in behavioral economics, a modern and quickly emerging field that integrates insights from psychology into economics.
We will focus on the following topics: social preferences and fairness, time discounting and limited self-control, the role of misperceptions, discrimination and group identity, behavioral public policy. After introducing the concepts, the classes will be largely based on discussion of individual papers.
Course completion requirements -
Last update: doc. PhDr. Julie Chytilová, Ph.D. (24.08.2023)

A grade from this course will be based on a written final test, which will take place at the end of the course.

Grading: A = 90.1-100; B = 80.1-90; C = 70.1-80; D = 60.1-70; E = 50.1-60; F = 0-50.

For more details about the final exam, including sample questions, please see a separate document uploaded in SIS. 

Literature -
Last update: PhDr. Petr Bednařík, Ph.D. (15.06.2020)

Fehr, Ernst and Klaus Schmidt. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation." Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1999, 114(3), pp. 817-868.

Charness, Gary and Matthew Rabin. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests." Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2002, 117(3), pp. 817-869.

Gneezy, U., and J. A List. 2006. "Putting behavioral economics to work: Testing for gift exchange in labor markets using field experiments." Econometrica 1365–1384.

Gneezy, U., and A. Rustichini. 2000. "A Fine is a Price." The Journal of Legal Studies 29:1–17.

Falk, A. 2007. "Gift exchange in the field." Econometrica 75:1501–1511.

Kube, S., M. A Maréchal, and C. Puppe. 2006. "Putting Reciprocity to Work—Positive versusNegative Responses in the Field." University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series.

Kube, S., M. A Maréchal, and C. Puppe. 2011. "The currency of reciprocity—Gift-exchange in the workplace." American Economic Review, 102(2012), 1644-1662.

Ingvild Almås et al., "Fairness and the Development of Inequality Acceptance," Science 328, no. 5982 (May 28, 2010): 1176 -1178.

Ariely, D., and K. Wertenbroch. 2002. "Procrastination, deadlines, and performance: Self-control by precommitment." Psychological Science 219–224.

Augenblick, N., Niederle, M., & Sprenger, C. (2015). Working over time: Dynamic Inconsistency in real effort tasks. Quarterly Journal of Economics, forthcoming. doi:10.1016/j.jfluchem.2010.02.012

Thaler, R. H, and S. Benartzi. 2004. "Save More Tomorrow: using behavioral economics to increase employee saving." Journal of Political Economy 112:164–187.

Ashraf, N., D. Karlan, and W. Yin. 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines." Quarterly Journal of Economics 121:635–672.

Duflo, E., M. Kremer, and J. Robinson. 2009. "Nudging Farmers to Utilize Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya." CEPR Discussion Papers.

Haushofer, J., & Shapiro, J. (2013). Household Response to Income Changes: Evidence from an Unconditional Cash Transfer Program in Kenya. Working paper

A. Mani, S. Mullainathan, E. Shafir, J. Zhao, Poverty impedes cognitive function. Science 341(6149), 976-980 (2013).

Haushofer, J., & Fehr, E. (2014). On the psychology of poverty. Science (New York, N.Y.), 344(6186), 862–7. doi:10.1126/science.1232491Bartos,

V., Bauer, M., Chytilova, J. and Levely, I. (2018): Effects of poverty on impatience: Preferences or inattention. CEPR working paper.

Requirements to the exam -
Last update: doc. PhDr. Julie Chytilová, Ph.D. (04.10.2023)

A grade from this course will be based on a written final test, which will take place at the end of the course.

Grading: A = 90.1-100; B = 80.1-90; C = 70.1-80; D = 60.1-70; E = 50.1-60; F = 0-50.


There will be four dates for the final exam.

•       December 22, 2023, 2:00-3:20pm in room 109

•       January 12, 2024, 9:30-10:50am in room 314

•       January 19, 2024, 9:30-10:50am in room 314

•       February 16, 2024, 9:30-10:50am in room 314


For more details about the final exam, including sample questions, please see a separate document uploaded in SIS.

Last update: doc. PhDr. Julie Chytilová, Ph.D. (15.09.2023)


For the list of readings for each topic please see the attached pdf document with the syllabus



  • What is the definition of behavioral economics?
  • How does behavioral economics differ from experimental economics?
  • Overview of topics and requirements of this course



  • Models of social preferences: altruism, inequality aversion, reciprocity, concern about social efficiency
  • Evidence of trust and reciprocity in the laboratory
  • Applications
    • How can social preferences help to explain unemployment?
    • Reciprocity on the labor market: Can employers motivate employees to exert more effort by giving them higher wages? Do wage cuts reduce effort?
    • Reciprocity in charitable giving: Can NGOs mobilize donations by distributing gifts?
    • Reciprocity in day care centers: Can introducing “market” crowd out fairness motives?



  • Are social preferences exogenous or shaped during childhood?
  • How do social preferences develop with age during childhood and adolescence?
  • Does parental background and social environment matter?



  • Present-biased preferences and naivite: introducing the concepts
  • Are people present-biased?
  • Demand for commitment
    • Do people procrastinate? Can deadlines help?
    • Do people demand commitment when they want to save?
    • Do people demand commitment at work and does it help increase effort?



  • “Behavioral poverty trap” – why poverty may affect economic decision-making via psychological channels?
  • Does poverty reduce cognitive skills, productivity and increase time preference?


TOPIC 6 (if time allows): MISPERCEPTIONS AND INFORMATION (Michal Bauer)

  • Do people have accurate beliefs about important facts or views of others?
  • Do inaccurate beliefs (misperceptions) shape important life decisions?
  • Can inaccurate beliefs by corrected by providing facts?
  • How misperceptions affect schooling choices, health behavior and labor market participation?



  • Are there differences in decision-making of individuals and of groups? Are groups more rational? Are groups less pro-social?
  • How can group identity influence economic outcomes?
  • How can we measure the effects of group identity on behavior?



  • What are the standard economic explanations of discrimination?
  • How can we measure existence of discrimination? Lab experiments, audit studies, correspondence experiments.
  • Do we also discriminate sub-consciously?
  • What are the consequences of discrimination?
  • What affects discrimination?



  • How can the findings from behavioral economics be applied in public policies? Choice architecture, nudges and defaults.
  • Examples – how to nudge people to save money and to save energy?
  • How to balance freedom of choice and government interventions? Libertarian paternalism.


Entry requirements -
Last update: doc. PhDr. Julie Chytilová, Ph.D. (09.09.2018)


JEB104 – Microeconomics I

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