Marc Dudey


SURF Mentoring

Potential projects/topics:

In economics, the standard model of human behavior is that of a rational, self-interested utility maximizer with unlimited cognitive resources. However, experimentalists and behavioral economists have cast doubt on the standard model, emphasizing that the model is not only wrong but wrong in ways that matter for economic outcomes. This has led to a literature that emphasizes departures from the standard model like bounded rationality (how cognitive constraints can affect choice behavior), temptation (self-control problems that could arise from addiction or impatience), and context dependence (how decision makers view the outcome of a choice in terms of a reference point or another context that is provided by the choice problem, as opposed to a taste for the outcome per se).

This project is a course in "behavioral economics." Mentees shall study (1) evidence that seems to show important limitations of the standard model, (2) how these issues are addressed with models that depart from the standard assumptions but not traditional economic methods, and (3) applications of the alternative models. They will become familiar with concepts and tools that have recently found applications to public economics, industrial organization, development, labor, health, energy, and finance.

Mentoring will have two components. Technical material will be presented via “asynchronous” screencast presentations. These are combined with meetings via zoom once a week.

Each mentee will produce a literature review focusing on a cluster of related papers or a detailed research proposal that can serve as the basis for future study.

Potential skills gained: For undergraduates interested in applying for PhD programs in economics or any field where tools of behavioral economics have been applied.

Required qualifications: Some knowledge of calculus and statistics.

Direct mentor: Faculty/P.I.

Research Areas

Industrial Organization