Behavioural Economics
MSc Economics and Business

Study programme

Behavioural Economics gives you both a solid training in mainstream economics and the tools and models to use psychological insights to improve predictions and design effective products, strategies, and policies. The curriculum consists of courses in mainstream economics as well as courses in Behavioural Economics. 

You can choose between three mainstream economics tracks, corresponding with our other Economics and Business specialisations:

  • Financial Economics track
  • Economics of Markets and Organisations track 
  • Marketing track

These tracks consist of courses and seminars of the corresponding specialisations of the Master of Economics and Business.
In the core Behavioural Economics courses (4 credits each) you will learn the most recent insights from Behavioural Economics. In the seminars (12 credits each) you get the chance to apply these insights in a highly interactive setting. The core behavioural economics courses include:

  • Advanced Behavioural Economics
  • Experimental Economics
  • Seminar Applied Behavioural Economics

On top of this, students can choose a behavioural elective such as Advanced Behavioural Finance or Neuromarketing, depending on their chosen track.

The curriculum consists of:

The coursework for the programme entails 45% of core behavioural economic courses (20 ECTS) and 55% of the chosen track (24 ECTS). The core coursework consists of roughly 40% theory (mainly in lectures) and 60% application (mainly in the seminar). The tracks require the same amount of coursework for lectures and seminars (12 ECTS each). 

In class

A case from the Seminar Applied Behavioural Economics in previous years: a major Dutch life insurance, pensions and asset management company wanted to determine the optimal allocation of pension capital for each individual client. To do so, they wanted to learn about their clients’ individual risk attitude. An important constraint was that many clients have neither the time nor the inclination to fill in extensive surveys. The students worked in groups to propose improvements to the questionnaire used by the company, based on insights from economic theory, experimental economics, and psychology. 

Disclaimer: The overview below shows the programme curriculum for the academic year 2019/2020.

    • Block 1

      • The Take-Off is the introduction event for all new students of Erasmus School of Economics. During this interesting introduction event, you will be provided with useful practical information and receive an introduction to your studies, meet your fellow students and our School.

      • This course will give an up-to-date overview of the most relevant behavioral economic models. Students will learn the differences between the various models. This will enable them to recognize which type of model is most appropriate in specific contexts.

    • Block 1 - 3

      • * Students choose one Track from the Tracks listed below.

    • Block 2

      • Behavioural economics models systematic deviations from the standard economic model. This seminar will show how to take into account these deviations to improve the predictive power of economic and financial theories. Improving the design and implementation of business strategies and public policies will be dealt with through case studies.

    • Block 4

      • Experiments are an increasingly important tool in economics. They are, for instance, used to understand why financial investors spend too little on stocks, why consumers are reluctant to change brands, and in the analysis of labor market decisions. This course deals with the following questions:

        • Why are experiments such a powerful tool to discover the causal effect of a treatment?
        • What exactly are economic experiments?
        • Why should incentives be given in economic experiments work? Do they always work?
        • How can utility be measured with experiments?
        • What kind of statistical analyses are needed for experimental data?
        • What is the optimal sample size to discover the causal effect of interest?
        • Are results found in the laboratory predictive of behavior in the real world?
        • How can we test lab-field generalizability by means of field experiments?
    • Block 4 - 5

      • The thesis is the crown on your Master’s degree programme.

        While you have to start in early December, the last two blocks of the programme are especially devoted to the Master’s thesis. The thesis is written individually under close supervision by one of our academic staff members.

    • Block 1

      • In this course we aim to provide students with knowledge of econometric methods which are relevant for applied economics. In particular, this course first introduces the essentials of the standard regression model and then covers methods for the analysis of panel data and categorical/choice data.

    • Block 3

    • Block 4

        • FEM11076 - Advanced Behavioural Finance
        • FEM11156 - Sustainability and Innovation
    • Block 1

    • Block 3

        • FEM11003 - Seminar Advanced Corporate Finance: Private Equity
        • FEM11005 - Seminar Risk Management
        • FEM11054 - Seminar International Financial Markets
        • FEM11075 - Seminar Advanced Investments
        • FEM11085 - Seminar Advanced Corporate Finance: Empirical Corporate Finance
        • FEM11133 - Seminar Behavioural Investing
    • Block 4

    • Block 1

    • Block 3

        • FEM11029 - Seminar Consumer Channel Dynamics
        • FEM11080 - Seminar Developing and Marketing New Products
        • FEM11091 - Seminar Customer Intelligence and CRM
        • FEM11104 - Seminar Global Brand Strategy
        • FEM11139 - Seminar Customer Relationship Management
    • Block 4

        • FEM11076 - Advanced Behavioural Finance
        • FEM11144 - Behavioural Transport Economics
        • FEM11158 - Marketing Strategy in the Healthcare Industry