Behavioural Economics

Subject ECON30019 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Three hours of lectures and seminars per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Both of the following:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 1
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Please refer to Prerequisites and Corequisites.
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements for this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Ian Mcdonald


Subject Overview:

Behavioural economics extends traditional economics by incorporating insights into human behaviour derived from psychology and sociology. The behavioural patterns studied in this subject include judgement biases, mental accounting, framing, loss aversion and anchoring, present-biased preferences, fairness, negative reciprocity and visceral influences. Applications of behavioural economics to both microeconomic and macroeconomic topics will be considered, such as self-control, wage rigidity and involuntary unemployment, social capital and the equity premium puzzle. Research techniques emphasised in behavioural economics, such as experimental methods, will be discussed.

  • Explain behavioural patterns uncovered in behavioural economics.
  • Explain some of the techniques used by behavioural economics to create knowledge.
  • Evaluate the contribution of behavioural economics to economic knowledge.
  • Synthesise and contrast some of the recently created knowledge in behavioural economics with traditional economics.
  • Write coherent accounts of issues in behavioural economics.

A 2-hour end-of-semester examination (70%) and an essay of approximately 3000 words (30%).

Prescribed Texts: You will be advised of prescribed texts by your lecturer.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • High level of development: written communication; application of theory to practice; critical thinking; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information.

  • Moderate level of development: oral communication; problem solving; interpretation and analysis; accessing data and other information from a range of sources; receptiveness to alternative ideas.

  • Some level of development: collaborative learning; team work; statistical reasoning; use of computer software.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Economics Major

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