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Intern
    Chair of Labour Economics

    Bachelor

    Winter Semester 2021/22

    Lecturer

    Corinna Birner, M.Sc.

    Syllabus

    Content:

    Psychology and Economics seem to be two opposing disciplines as each one of them has its own research methods, its own questions and its own self-perception. Nevertheless, both disciplines have one thing in common: they want to know more about human behaviour and understand why we act like we do in our daily life. In this course, we will compare the two disciplines and look at different approaches to determine human behaviour, focussing on different psychological constructs that have been introduced into Economics. We will look at intelligence, personality, the influence of society and briefly dive into the field of Neuroeconomics. The course wants to provide insight on psychological variables and constructs and how Economists can use these in order to obtain an interdisciplinary holistic view on human behaviour.

    The lecture will cover the following topics:

    I. Introduction to psychological concepts
    II. Intelligence in psychology and economics
    III. Personality and emotions in psychology and economics
    IV. Behavioural measurements in psychology and economics
    V. Social identity and norms in psychology and economics
    VI. Introduction to neuroeconomics

    Literature:

    • Schram, A. & Ule, A. (Eds.) (2019): Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Experimental Economics. Edward Elgar Publishing.
    • Lewis, A. (2018): The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Economic Behaviour. Cambridge University Press.
    • Smith, E., Mackie, D. &Claypool, H. (2014): Social Psychology. Taylor & Francis.
    • Kim, N.S. (2018): Judgment and decision-making in the lab and in the world. PALGRAVE.
    • Additional material will be announced during the first session.

    12-APV1-4 (Ausgewählte Probleme der VWL 1-4)
    12-A&G-1-4
    (Arbeit & Gesellschaft 1-4 (ab Stud.ord. 2021))

    Syllabus

    Structure and content

    The aim of this course is to prepare students on conducting their own empirical research project. This term, we will focus on randomized control trials (RCTs), the gold standard of causal analysis.

    In the first part of the course, we will introduce the theoretical toolkit necessary to understand how field experiments work and how to design, implement and evaluate them. The topics covered will be as follows:

    1. The purpose of RCTs (Prof. Christina Felfe de Ormeno)

    Reading Duflo et al (2007), Chapter 2

    1. The design of RCTs (Corinna Birner)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 4 &5

    1. Implementation of an RCT (Maike Schlosser)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 3, 6 & 7

    1. Analysis and interpretation of RCTS (Prateek Bhan)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 8

    In the second part, students will present applications of RCTs. The focus will lie on RCTs conducted with children. The list of papers students can choose from can be found below.

    Examination

    Regular and active participation is expected (20%). Evaluation will consist of a presentation (40%) and a critical report of a scientific paper (40%).

    Prerequisites

    Basic knowledge in microeconomics and econometrics is desirable.

    General comment

    The course is open for students at all level, from Bachelor, Master, PhD to Postdoctoral students. In the beginning this might be challenging, but empirical research and in particular, RCTs requires and lives from big teams consisting of members from all academic levels. As such, let’s try it out J

    Essential readings

    Duflo, Glennerster and Kremer (2007) “Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit.” CEPR Working Paper 6059. http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/806

    Khandker et al. (2010) Handbook of Impact Evaluation, Chapter 3: Randomization, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/2693

    General

    Syllabus

    Structure and content

    The aim of this course is to prepare students on conducting their own empirical research project. This term, we will focus on randomized control trials (RCTs), the gold standard of causal analysis.

    In the first part of the course, we will introduce the theoretical toolkit necessary to understand how field experiments work and how to design, implement and evaluate them. The topics covered will be as follows:

    1. The purpose of RCTs (Prof. Christina Felfe de Ormeno)

    Reading Duflo et al (2007), Chapter 2

    1. The design of RCTs (Corinna Birner)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 4 &5

    1. Implementation of an RCT (Maike Schlosser)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 3, 6 & 7

    1. Analysis and interpretation of RCTS (Prateek Bhan)

    Reading: Duflo et al. (2007), Chapter 8

    In the second part, students will present applications of RCTs. The focus will lie on RCTs conducted with children. The list of papers students can choose from can be found below.

    Examination

    Regular and active participation is expected (20%). Evaluation will consist of a presentation (40%) and a critical report of a scientific paper (40%).

    Prerequisites

    Basic knowledge in microeconomics and econometrics is desirable.

    General comment

    The course is open for students at all level, from Bachelor, Master, PhD to Postdoctoral students. In the beginning this might be challenging, but empirical research and in particular, RCTs requires and lives from big teams consisting of members from all academic levels. As such, let’s try it out J

    Essential readings

    Duflo, Glennerster and Kremer (2007) “Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit.” CEPR Working Paper 6059. http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/806

    Khandker et al. (2010) Handbook of Impact Evaluation, Chapter 3: Randomization, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/2693

    Exam no.: 310229 - Seminar: Labour Economics

    General information:

    The Chair of Labour Economics supervises Bachelor's theses in the area of labour, education, and migration economics. Topics usually relate to actual policy concerns, examples are discrimination, early child development, education, integration of immigrants, labour supply, peer effects, just to name a few. Theses should be of empirical nature using either primary (preferrably related to social politics in the region) or secondary data. The thesis can be written either in German or English. For more information regarding the formal and content-related structure of the thesis, see: Thesis Guideline

    Former thesis‘ topics:

    • The impact of parental benefits on parental gender norms
    • Gender stereotypes and occupational decisions of adolescents
    • Intergenerational changes for migrants in Germany
    • Acceptance of a universal basic income
    • Incorporating social identity into economic analysis

    Procedure:

    It is highly recommended to attend the bachelor seminar in labour economics (5 ECTS, Module "Ausgewählte Probleme der VWL") where the students can discuss their ideas, elaborate a literature review and familiarize themselves with the appropriate empirical methodology. The thesis will build on these skills.

    There is no list with prespecified topics, but each students approaches the chair with his or her own idea. Following a written application including a short description of the idea and the motivation as well as a transcript of courses and grades, conversations with the members of the chair will help to finetune the exact topic. A close supervision is guaranteed and desired throughout the whole process of thesis writing.