79168 - Strategy and Behavior in Economics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will acquire the ability to analyze the typical economic situations of strategic interaction, that is situations where two or more individuals make decisions that will influcence one another's welfare. More specifically, she will be able to apply both models and behavioral information about individual choices of cooperation and conflict. Moreover, the student will acquire the ability to identify the type of strategic environment that she faces and to manage it in an effective way: social dilemma, negotiation, rent-seeking, voting, repeated cooperation, teamwork, coordination.

Course contents

The topics will include:

1) Competitive markets

2) Decision making under risk

3) Intertemporal choices

4) Coordination games

5) Social dilemmas

6) Long-run interactions

7) Economics and the Environment

Readings/Bibliography

There is no main textbook for this course. The readings are chapters from various textbooks and articles from scientific journals. In addition, there will be slides/lecture notes. As the course proceeds, the readings and slides will be posted on moodle: https://iol.unibo.it/

Please check every week as readings, slides, datasets, and other material are continuously posted.

Teaching methods

NO CLASSES ON THE FIRST WEEK. LECTURES BEGIN ON OCT 2ND.

You will learn Economics hands on by personally making choices in a variety of contexts, then analyzing the choices taken by the whole class, and writing up a report with tables, graphs, and your interpretation. The following lecture will compare the data with the predictions of Economic models.

The class will typically meet almost one day per week in an IT laboratory, where you will participate in an activity on that week’s topic. You will then write a lab report based on the data from the classroom activity. This method encourages you to be actively involved in learning and in developing specific skills to transform raw data into information. To complete assignments, you will need an intermediate knowledge of Excel, or another spreadsheet. If you don't, you will need to learn it by doing during the course.

Hence there will be:
* Frontal teaching
* Classroom games (you may need a laptop or unibo login rights)
* Home assignment of short reports based on the classroom activity

Class attendance is required. Those who are unable to attend may want to opt for the class INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS (ADVANCED) 78980 -see http://www.scienzepolitiche.unibo.it/it/corsi/insegnamenti/insegnamento/2017/400744

Assessment methods

The class grade is the weighted average of grades earned in lab reports (40%), in final written exam (50%), and points earned during the classroom games (10%).

Class attendance is required.

Lab Reports. Lab reports are due at the start of the class following the experiment and may not be turned in late. So if you must miss class on a day that a report is due, be sure to turn it in before class in person or by email. The experimental data necessary for you to complete your lab reports will be posted on moodle.

The data are usually in Excel format, and you download them from the course website. In computing the overall grade for the lab report part, I will drop the lowest lab report score. This way if you do not hand in one lab report, you can still earn full credit for this part.

Collaboration policy. Everyone must complete his or her own lab reports, independently of other students. You may discuss general strategies for solving problems on the lab reports with your classmates, as long as you write your lab reports independently. Do not collaborate with a classmate and turn in very similar lab reports.

Attendance. It will be difficult for you to write a good lab report if you are absent on the day of the corresponding experiment, class attendance during the lab sessions is required. Ten percent of your final grade will also be based on your cumulative experimental “earnings” over the semester, and if you miss an experiment then you do not have any earnings (and receive zero points) for that experiment. When we meet in the lab, you will need unibo login rights in order to participate into the classroom activities (or a laptop with your own internet access).

Final exam. The final exam is written and will comprise 5-10 questions. Answers are short essays that focus on defining concepts, illustrating theories, reporting empirical evidence, linking theory and experiments, providing interpretations, solving numerical exercises. The focus will be on the readings and the slides.

Overall Grade. Half of the grade will come from lab reports & experimental points. If the student passes the final exam before February 2020, the coursework and grade from lab reports & experimental earnings will enter into the computation of the overall grade. This procedure will be followed even if the student re-takes the final exam multiple times. If the student passes the final exam after February 2020, he or she will need to attend again the lectures and earn a new grade for lab reports & experimental points.

Teaching tools

- Slides
- register on MOODLE: https://iol.unibo.it/
- You may need to bring a laptop to some of the classes to be able to join the classroom games.



Office hours

See the website of Marco Casari