Experimental Research and Behavioral Decision Making

Time I: 
04:00pm to 06:00pm
Venue I: 
Spandauer Straße 1, room 112

Abstract and Learning Objectives
Various robust deviations from rational decision making have been reported such as loss aversion, probability weighting, status quo bias, overconfidence etc. Understanding those deviations leads to a more realistic modelling of the behavior of different economic actors and to an increased prediction success. In this course, participants will understand those and other important deviations from rationality as well as their theoretical explanations/modelling, e.g., prospect theory and mental accounting. Most theories have been developed implementing psychological and economic experiments. Whereas psychological experiments are mostly asking the respondents for hypothetical choices, real decisions with actual monetary payoffs are implemented in economic experiments. Half of the course will be concerned with a profound introduction to the several deviations from rationality that have been reported with real decision makers and with the theoretical treatment of those deviations. The other half of the course will deal with different types of experiments and different experimental designs as well as the matching of research question and type of empirical method to be used.

Whereas the first two days take the form of an interactive lecture and are mostly devoted to laying the basic knowledge in experimental research and behavioral decision theory, the next two days are devoted to specific applications of behavioral decision theory to selected topics in tax compliance, behavioral finance, behavioral insurance, entrepreneurial decisions, venture financing decisions, and consumer behavior. Whereas not all areas of business research are captured in the example studies, the applications are diverse as well as broad enough to have participants from different fields benefit from this course.

Selected Literature:
Friedman, D., Sunder, S. (1994): Experimental methods: A primer for economists. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK) and New York (USA).
Gigerenzer, G., Todd, P. M. and the ABC Research Group (1999): Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. Oxford University Press, Oxford (UK).
Kahneman, D. and Tversky, A. (1979): Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica 47, 263-291.

More literature to be found in the syllabus.

to be announced

Fall 2018
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin