Economics of Misbehavior, Summer 2020

Official link to the course catalogue 2019-20 of the University of Copenhagen.

Economics is a powerful tool that promote our understanding of social problems specific to our times. In particular, Economics can help us to find the reasons behind of a series of (mis)behaviors such as why people engage in unprotected sex; why people lie, cheat and steal; why names affect the chance of being hired or rent an apartment; why people pollute the environment and waste natural resources; why people engage in risky health behavior such as smoking and drinking; and why people regret (but not change) their poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. 
Misbehavior -behavior that people consider inappropriate- has not only negative consequences for the individuals but also have huge costs for our society and can cause hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths. In this course students will explore how economics can shed light on the darkest places of human behavior, learn how to use the economics tools (economic theory, empirical analysis and experimentation) to analyze misbehavior and investigate its deep causes and consequences. Further, this course will provide students with sufficient knowledge to discuss the effectiveness of policy interventions aiming at reducing this misbehavior.

Course information

Reading List

General Introduction

Module 1: What determines (mis)behavior?

Module 2: The Economic Approach to Human Behavior

Module 3: Addictive Behavior

Module 4: Crime

Module 5: Corruption and Violence

Module 6: Morals and Markets

Module 7: Repugnant Markets

Module 8: Discrimination and Racism

Module 9: Pandemic

Module 10: Is Misbehavior Contagious?


Exam: tips and tricks (Discussion on Thursday)