Behavioral Economics and Public Policy

The course Behavioral Economics and Public Policy (BEPP) gives you a theoretical overview of behavioral economics and behavioral public policy. It lasts 3 days and is worth 2 ECTS. 

Firstly, we will get into how human brains work and how evolution shapes our decision-making, and we will introduce you to behavioral economics, including heuristics and biases.

On the second day we will explore how our decisions are influenced by other people, social norms, time, and money.

And finally, you will gain an understanding of framing, default options, and other tools from behavioral sciences for making the most effective public policies.

See more information below.


Vojtěch Zíka

Czech Republic

Alejandro Hortal

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
United States of America

Course details


The course consists of 18 hours of lectures (6 each day). Each lecture lasts 60 minutes. Morning lectures start at 9:00 and finish at 12:40. Afternoon lectures start at 14:00 and finish at 17:40. The break after each lecture lasts 20 minutes. All times are in Central European Summer Time (CEST).


Day 1 – Evolution and brain

- Evolution of human decision-making

- Introduction to the brain

- Decision-making under risk and uncertainty

Day 2 – Behavioral economics

Decision-making and money

- Decision-making and time

- Decision-making and society

Day 3 – Behavioral Public Policy

Introduction to behavioral public policy

- (De)motivating good behavior

- Guides for choice architects

- Ethics in behavioral economics applications

ECTS requirements

To obtain 2 ECTS, you must attend the lectures and take a final exam based on lectures and selected chapters of mandatory literature (Wilkinson & Klaes, 2017). The exam will be in the form of an online test and will take place after the end of the program.


- Wilkinson, N., & Klaes, M. (2017). An introduction to behavioral economics. Macmillan International Higher Education.

- Dhami, S. (2016). The foundations of behavioral economic analysis. Oxford University Press.

- Halpern, D. (2015). Inside the nudge unit: How small changes can make a big difference. Random House. 

- Thaler, R., & Sunstein, C. (2009). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Penguin. 

- Thaler, R., & Sunstein, C. (2003). Libertarian paternalism. American economic review, 93(2), 175–179.

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