Many business textbooks assume that consumers and businesses make rational decisions: making optimal purchases, and maximizing profit. Instead, in this course we use insights from behavioral economics and finance to examine the biases that individuals hold to better understand decision-making.
We study phenomena such as the link between overconfidence and financial markets, why we pay for gym memberships we rarely use, and how companies use decoys and loss-aversion to increase sales. The primary objectives of this course are to introduce to students the concepts in behavioral economics and finance that are most relevant to business and financial markets, and to study applications of these concepts in the actual business world.
Alexander Coutts has been an Assistant Professor of Economics at Schulich School of Business, York University, since 2021. Previously he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Nova School of Business and Economics.
He holds a Ph.D. in Economics (2015) from New York University, USA. During his studies he was a researcher at New York University’s Center for Technology and Economic Development, based in Abu Dhabi. His research fields are Behavioral Economics, Development Economics, and Experimental Economics.
His interests center on applying insights from behavioral economics to questions in development economics. He uses laboratory and field experiments to understand the interaction between information, beliefs, and behavior.