Behavioural and Experimental Economics

Course content

Behavioral and Experimental Economics is increasingly becoming a more and more prominent field in economics and social science in general. This is illustrated by the fact that the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002, 2009, and 2012 was awarded for contributions to Behavioral and Experimental Economics. The findings of Behavioral and Experimental Economics is now so robust and respected, that governments, firms, and other organizations in great numbers actively apply the insights from this field. The methodology of Behavioral and Experimental Economics is to revise the standard economic models of human behavior by integrating psychological, sociological, and neuroscience research in to the economic science.

As a student completing this course you will learn two major objectives:

1) Understand what behavioral and experimental economics (BEE) is. Through a series of topics it will be exemplified to you how BEE can be used to study central elements of human decision making. To obtain this insight several activities are initiated: A) You read about behavioral economic theories/concepts and how previous experiments test how people actually behavior in such situations. B) You participate yourself in experiments C) You analyze behavior from class experiments you participated in. D) You engage actively in lectures and classroom discussions.

2) The second major objective that you will learn in this course is to set up experiments yourself. By applying a hand-on approach to economic experiments you will understand what it in practice means to conduct experiments and this will allow you to reflect on the limitations and possibilities of this method. Not least, the required knowledge enables you to be a critical consumer of economic experiments done by others, which is a key (and lacking) skill when applying BEE results in real life. Your learning of the experimental method is facilitated in several ways: A) You act as experimenter in several class-demonstration experiments B) In groups, you develop own experimental designs and carry it out in practice. C) You learn about experimental designs in lectures and through discussions of designs applied in research papers.

On top of the two main objectives, you will get inputs as to how academic papers can be read efficiently and how to remain critical and reflective to the conclusions drawn on experimental work.

What you learn in the course will be evaluated in two ways.

1) You will be engaged in a block project, in which you set up your own experiment together with a group of other students. This project will allow you to demonstrate that you are able to handle the full academic process of running an experiment all the way from formulating an interesting research idea, review existing knowledge, carefully designing and performing an experiment to test the research idea, and finally analyze and discuss the findings.

2) At the very end of the course you will be asked to complete a more traditional written exam of 2 hours. Here one topic from the course will be selected, and you are asked to explain how the BEE literature has approached this topic and what the main findings are, and comment on possible class-experiment(s) related to this topic.


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Learning outcome

As a student in this course you will learn about behavioral theories which are enriching our understanding of key social science phenomena, and learn how these theories are tested in behavioral experiments. You will learn to master the analytical method behind behavioral and experimental economics.


  • The notion of behavioral and experimental economics
  • Understanding of what behavioral biases are.



  • Explain the difference between standard economics and behavioral economics thinking
  • Exam behavioral biases through own experimental testing.



  • Conduct behavioral experiments
  • Understand the mechanism behind real-world phenomena and what possibly produces them.


The course combines discussion-based class sessions, class based demonstration experiments, group work, and group presentations . Your learning process depends on your active participation in class as well as outside the classroom.

Academic papers and a textbook.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Thorughout the course you will work on your own experiment (in group), and will get feedback on the development on several occations.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
On-site written exam, 2 hours under invigilation
Type of assessment details
The grading in this course consists of two examinations.
Part 1: Presentation and defense of a project report. The presentation and the report count 50% of the final grade (Individual grading applies). The report has to be handed in, presented and defended in the regular teaching block (before the exam week)
Part 2: a two hour written exam in topics covered in the course (closed book). This part counts the remaining 50% of the final grade. Made in exam week.

The final grade is to be set as a weighted average of the results from the two examinations, and each exam has to be passed.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner

Written re-examination. 2 hours.

If the student has not handed in the project report, a new report has to be handed in three weeks prior to the re-examination. The report has to be approved before the exam.

Criteria for exam assessment

The grade 12 will be achieved if the student fulfill the learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 64
  • Preparation
  • 76
  • Project work
  • 60
  • Exam
  • 6
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
100 students
The number of places might be reduced if you register in the late-registration period (BSc and MSc) or as a credit or single subject student.
Study Board of Natural Resources, Environment and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Toke Reinholt Fosgaard   (2-83754f7875817e3d7a843d737a)
Saved on the 14-02-2024

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