Academic year
2017/2018 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
PHD085 (AF:263816 AR:156190)
ECTS credits
Degree level
Corso di Dottorato (D.M.45)
Educational sector code
Course year
The course provides theoretical and empirical tools to improve students’ understanding of the behavioral approach to decision making processes and subjective well-being, with particular emphasis on strategic interaction, information cascades, survey experiments, determinants of life satisfaction, and nudging. Behavioral economics and experimental economics are modern fields of research that highlight and seek to rationalize the main discrepancies observed in economic choices and behaviors. During lectures, we will implement a “pen and paper” experiment and discuss the corresponding results by looking at the existing literature.
Introduction: why behavioral economics and experimental economics? Tips and tricks in experimental economics

Information cascades

Coordination problems and focal points

Voluntary contribution to public goods, incentives and multiple projects

Subjective well-being and life satisfaction: introduction

Determinants of life satisfaction: measurement issues and survey experiments

Behavioral economics meets policy makers: cognitive biases and nudging

A field experiment on breast-cancer screening
Handbook of Experimental Economics, 1997, J. H. Kagel and A. E. Roth (eds), Princeton University Press. Ch. 1, 2, 3, 8.3.

+ Slides used in class

Additional references:

[Information Cascades]

Anderson, L. R. and Holt, C. A. (2008). Information Cascade Experiment. In Handbook of Experimental Economics Results (Vol.1. Ch. 39).

Bikhchandani, S., Hirshleifer, D. and Welch, I. (1998). Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 12(3), 151–170.

Corazzini, L. and Greiner, B. (2007). Herding, social preferences and (non-)conformity. Economic Letters, 97, 74-80.

[Non selfish preferences, public goods and incentives]

Cooper, D. J. and Kagel, J. H. (2013). Other-Regarding Preferences: A Selective Survey of Experimental Results. To appear in the Handbook of Experimental Economics, Vol 2, J. H Kagel and A. E Roth (eds), Princeton University Press.

Bernasconi, M., Corazzini, L., Kube, S., and Marechal, M. (2009). Two are Better than One! Individuals’ Contributions to Unpacked Public Goods. Economics Letters, 104(1), 31-33.

Corazzini, L., Faravelli, M., and Stanca, L. (2010). A Prize to Give for: An Experiment on Public Good Funding Mechanisms. Economic Journal, 120, 944–967.

Corazzini, L., Cotton, C., and Valbonesi, P. (2015). Donor Coordination in Project Funding: Evidence from a Threshold Public Goods Experiment. Journal of Public Economics, 128, 16-29.

[Life Satisfaction]

Angelini, V., Cavapozzi, D., Corazzini, L., and Paccagnella, O. (2014) Do Danes and Italians Rate Life Satisfaction in the Same Way? Using Vignettes to Correct for Individual-Specific Scale Biases. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 76(5), 643-666.

Angelini, V., Beroni, M., and Corazzini, L. (2017). Unpacking the Determinants of Life Satisfaction: a Survey Experiment. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society - A, 180(1), 225-246.

Dolan, P., Peasgood, T., and White, M. (2008). Do we really know what makes us happy? A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Psychology, 29, 94–122.

Frey, B. S. and Stutzer, A. (2002). What can economists learn from happiness research? Journal of Economic Literature, 40, 402–435.


Bertoni, M., Corazzini, L., Robone, S. (2017). The Good Outcomes of Bad News: A Randomized Field Experiment on Formatting Breast Cancer Screening Invitations" (with Marco Bertoni and Silvana Robone). HEDG Working Papers, 17/27.

Thaler R.H., Sunstein C.R. (2008), Nudge. Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.
The evaluation process consists of preparing an essay on one of the topics covered during lectures chosen by the student.
Lectures + classroom "pen and paper" experiments