Behavioral Measurement (Master)

Master of Science in Quantitative Decision Making in Economics and Management,
Specialization Economic Behaviour & Strategy


Instructor: Florian Hett | Tutorial and coordination of the course: Marcel Spieske

Mondays, 10:15-11:45 -1 341 HS VIII; Wednesdays, 10:15-11:45 00 251 HS V

First session: October 30, 2023

Precise measurement is a hallmark of empirical scientific practice. Inspired by economics’ strong emphasis on individual choice behavior as main object of investigation, recent years have seen rapid developments in the design and application of novel measurement protocols based on experimental economic methods. Such “behavioral measurement” tools allow capturing differences in individual characteristics like time, risk, social and other preferences as well as beliefs. They are increasingly applied to better understand differences in economically relevant domains ranging from health and education, to finance and consumer behavior, as well as environmental economics and economic development.


The course introduces students to the foundations and recent developments in the literature on behavioral measurement, including conceptual issues, practical implementations, and applications, taking a clear research-oriented perspective. Students shall become acquainted with using experimental approaches as measurement tools, get exposed to the broad variety of existing tools, study applications using these tools to provide new perspectives on economic problems, and learn to think themselves about new measures and/or new applications. The course is particularly suited for students with an interest in behavioral economics and empirical methods with a focus on experiments.


The course consists of a mixture of lectures introducing new concepts and tools and tutorial sessions discussing recent academic papers in the field. To gain credit, students need to present, summarize, and discuss research papers in paper sessions during the course (pass/fail) and write a term paper.