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  • Writer's pictureReuven Sherwin

[Nov'21] ToDo: Masters in Behavioral Economics? [Jan'24] Done!

Nearly two and a half years ago, I decided to start a journey, of going back to school and pursuing a Masters degree in Behavioral Economics.


Two years after the program started, I submitted my thesis (a download link can be found at the end of this post).


And this past week, I received my Certification of Eligibility.

 

What have I learned? (and please forgive me for oversimplifying things, but my mythological first boss Victor Wrobel taught me to Keep It Simple Stupid):

  • People are less rational than we think they are... (small surprise)

  • People are less rational than they should be... (bigger surprise)

  • People are less rational than they think they are... (even bigger surprise)

  • All of this is true, not only in general, but even in cases where it's economically clear what is financially better for them.


Behavioral Economics not only offers a better understanding of these observations, but also helps categorize these (mis)behaviors, helps understanding what and why leads people to these (mis)choices, and proposes methods of guiding people towards behaviors that would benefit them.


(* If you want a more-technical one-paragraph version, I've added it at the end.)


In one sentence I'll say, this program was all I could hope for - and then some.

 

Thank you Prof. Guy Hochman and Patricia Mikowski-Kahn, for the idea and execution of this program, and the full support along the way. A big shoutout to the Reichman University Behavioral Economics program and the team implementing it.


Thank you to the staff of teachers and professors - and the class students - you've all made my journey that much better...


Not all students study as good as others - and the same goes for teachers.


BUT all students love to study, and do their best to be their best - and the same goes for teachers.


So thank you to all of you.


A special thanks to my study group (you know who you are!) - you made my studies that much more enjoyable.


A final thank-you to my thesis advisors, Prof. Jacob Goldenberg and Dr. Moshik Miller - you made the thesis research process a fascinating and enjoyable part of my learning experience and reenforced another principle my first boss taught me - "always choose to work with people who are much nicer and much smarter than you are - and good things will happen".


My thank-you list can not be complete without thanking my better-half and my family for their support and understanding. You made my journey great.

 

(*) Behavioral Economics reveals that people often make irrational decisions influenced by emotions, social norms, and cognitive biases, challenging traditional economic models that assume rational behavior.

Central to this field are concepts like Heuristics, which are mental shortcuts leading to biases, and Prospect Theory, which shows how people inconsistently value gains and losses.

The field offers practical insights into human behavior, highlighting why and how people deviate from rational choices, and provides tools like Nudge Theory to positively influence decision-making. Its applications extend to policy-making, marketing, and finance, underscoring its significance in understanding and guiding human behavior in economic contexts.


ChatGPT+ DALL·E Popular Concepts of Behavioral Economics
ChatGPT+ DALL·E Popular Concepts of Behavioral Economics

Thesis - Exploring the Influence of Project Similarity on Crowdfunding
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