Behavioural Economics & Policy
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleMAN-MEC041
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Nijmegen School of Management; Master Economics;
dr. J. Vyrastekova
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J. Vyrastekova
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. J. Vyrastekova
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J. Vyrastekova
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
1  (05/09/2022 to 06/11/2022)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After completing the course Behavioural Economics and Policy the student is able to:
  • Outline the most recent findings in the field of behavioral economics with applications to policy making;
  • Discuss critically the shortcomings of the mainstream economics approaches to current policy making issues;
  • Report individually on recent findings behavioural economics relevant for current economic policy issues; 
  • Explain the contributions of the economic experiments suitable to address the aforementioned current  policy issues;
  • Explain the contributions of the randomized controlled trials for evidence-based policy making;
  • Design empirical strategies for behavioural policy interventions;
  • Critically discuss nudging approaches to policy making, including ethical issues involved;
  • Summarize the current status of the behavior-proofing of the policies in the Netherlands, Europe and across the world.

Homo economics is a poor descriptive model of economic decision making of humans. Findings from the fields of behavioural and experimental economics, neuroeconomics, psychology and even broader range of fields (anthropology, sociology) can be used to improve the descriptive power when modelling economic decision-making, or at least to delineate the domains where the standard model predicts behaviour poorly. These insights can in turn be used to enrich the design of policies and their implementation, to make these policies more effective and less costly.
In this course, we will summarize the major achievements of behavioural economics. We then turn to the case studies of the leading behavioural insight teams in the world (UK, USA, the Netherlands). Based on these cases we study where and how behavioural economics can help policy makers. Major issues such as environmental protection, heath care sustainability (e.g. epidemic character of obesity), poverty and financial decisions will be discussed and analysed from policy and behavioural insights and perspectives.

Presumed foreknowledge
Bachelor economics or related social or behavioral sciences. Otherwise strong interest in economics and/or behavioral sciences.
Test information
10% Assignments & active class participation (based on assignments submitted and discussed in the classroom) 40% Essay (group assignment, with mid-term and final deadline) 50% Written exam (closed book individual exam) Partial results form past years are not valid.
Work forms: - lectures - discussions/workgroups - project
Ma 1

Required materials
Academic articles and case studies of the behavioural insight teams. The list will be announced via Brightspace.

Instructional modes

Working group

Test weight50
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock 1, Block 2

Test weight50
Test typeEssay
OpportunitiesBlock 1, Block 2