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Selected Topics in Institutional Economics and International Economic Policy WS 18/19


October 17th, 2pm - 4pm,  HS 1132

November 13th, 9am - 1pm,  Room 4.06 Wilhelmstraße 1b (4th floor)

December 4th, 8am - 6 pm, Liefmannhaus (Goethestraße 33-35)

December 6th, 8am - 6 pm, Liefmannhaus (Goethestraße 33-35)

Language englisch

Application Form


Application deadline


October 1, 2018


In recent years, consumer policy has attracted new attention in research due to the behavioral turn in economic science. In fact, it has been argued that especially in the realm of consumer protection the insights derived from behavioral economics can have far-reaching implications, including a new understanding on how government intervention in markets (the so called “nudging”) might improve individual behavior.

The aim of this seminar on behavioral consumer economics is to gain a better understanding of the predictions, implications and limitations of insights from behavioral economics for consumer policy. In order to do so, we will systematically consider the known behavioral biases and apply them to consumers’ decision-making. Based on this we will discuss possible policy measures dealing with these biases, thereby evaluating them from a social-welfare perspective.


List of topics

(Each topic, except for topics 1 and 10, will be shared by two students, one student discussing the bias from a conceptional, the other one from a consumer-policy perspective. Each student will write his/her own seminar paper, but seminar presentations will be given together.)

1. Non-behavioral consumer economics – from classical to information economics

2. Bounded rationality and information overload

3. Risk-perception biases

4. Self-serving biases

5. Status-quo biases

6. Time-related biases

7. Contexts and framing

8. Anchoring and adjustment

9. Bounded will-power

10. Soft paternalism – the future of consumer policy?


The following (freely downloadable) references are suggested as introductory readings:

- Hanneke A. Luth (2010): Behavioural Economics in Consumer Policy, Ph.D. dissertation, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

- Judith Mehta (ed.) (2013): Behavioural Economics in Competition and Consumer Policy, ESRC Centre for Competition Policy, Norwich.

Interested students please apply for participation by September 19th 2018, using the application form.


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