Monthly Archives: December 2007

Coverage of Behavioral and Experimental Economics in Undergraduate Microeconomics Textbooks

Here is the latest draft the paper “Coverage of Behavioral and Experimental Economics in Undergraduate Microeconomics Textbooks” which I wrote with Minna Autio. Here is the abstract: This paper analyzes to what degree 25 undergraduate microeconomics textbooks incorporate contributions from behavioral economics and experimental economics.

We find that ten of the 25 textbooks examined make no reference at all to behavioral economics; six dedicate less than 1% of total pages to it, six between 1% and 2.6 %, and three between 6% and 11%. When behavioral economics is discussed, the focus tends to be on bounded rationality rather than on bounded self-interest or bounded willpower. Experimental economics is not discussed at all in ten textbooks, twelve textbooks dedicate less than 0.6% of total pages to it, while three dedicate between 2% and 10% of total pages.

We discuss the possible causes of the detected variation in the coverage of behavioral economics drawing from a variety of qualitative materials.

Keywords: behavioral economics, economics education and teaching of economics, experimental economics, microeconomics, psychology, textbooks.

JEL classification codes: A22, B49, B59, D01.

The Status of Women in Environmental Economics

Bhattacharjee, Herriges and Kling examine the “Status of women in Environmental Economics” in the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Summer 2007, v. 1, iss. 2, pp. 212-27. Here is the abstract:

” This article examines the status of women in the environmental economics profession in terms of their representation and impact. Three indicators are used to gauge the status of women in the profession. They are the representation of women in academia in the United States and Canada, the publication profiles of female environmental economists, and the representation of women in the roles of leadership within the professional association and lead journal of the profession. In a survey of schools with graduate programs in environmental economics, we find that female environmental economists are better represented in the faculty of noneconomics departments than in those of economics departments. A study of the publication profiles of women in the profession’s main journal, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, indicates that women publish fewer articles on average than their male counterparts, and their papers receive fewer citations on average. Women are well represented in the leadership of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and also in editorial positions at the Journal of Environment Economics and Management.”

Summer School on Social Norms 14. July 2008 to 17. July 2008

For graduates and postgraduates  with a research interest in Social Norms, the University of the Basque Country’s  and the Urrutia Elejalde Foundation’s XI summer school on economics and philosophy will  focus on social norms.  The summer school will take placein San Sebastian, Spain from 14. July 2008 to 17. July 2008. The deadline for applications is  31. January 2008. Further information at as well as below

 “A summer school organized by the University of the Basque Country and the Urrutia Elejalde Foundation.
San Sebastián, July 14-17 (2008)

Director: Cristina Bicchieri (UPenn)

Coordinators: Alfonso Dubois (UPV/EHU), David Teira & Jesús Zamora(UNED)

Aims and Scope | Speakers | Call for papers

1. Aims and scope:

Since 1998 the Urrutia Elejalde has annually organized a Summer School on frontier topics between philosophy, economics and other social sciences, bringing together scholars from all these fields to explore them. The aim of this year Summer School is to introduce participants to the vast research that is taking place in the area of social norms. From philosophy and psychology to evolutionary game theory and experimental economics, recent work on social norms is shedding light on why and under what circumstances people engage in pro-social behavior, and how norms may emerge, stabilize or decay.

2. Preliminary list of speakers

Jason Alexander (LSE), Daniel Andler (Paris IV-ENS), Cristina Bicchieri (UPenn), Jordi Brandts (UAB), Pablo Brañas (Ugr), Cristiano Castelfranchi (ISTC- CNR), Jason DanaJon Elster (Columbia+College de France), Diego Gambetta (Oxford), Herbert Gintis (UMass), Russell Hardin (NYU), Shaun Nichols (U. Arizona), Dan SperberEdna Ullmann-Margalit (Jerusalem) (UPenn), (CNRS),

3. Call for papers

We encourage submission of papers that cover one or more of the above areas. The scientific committe will consider a number of submissions by young scholars at graduate or postgraduate level. The Foundation will cover the registration fees and accomodation expenses of the authors. Please send a 2000 words pdf abstract to David Teira (dteira [@] before Jan 31st 2008. A decision will be made by March 15th.

Scientific Committee: Cristina Bicchieri, Jason Alexander, Jason Dana, Diego Gambetta.”


Timothy Taylor’s new Principle of Economics textbook free download

Free exchange reports that ” TIMOTHY TAYLOR, a man Brad DeLong calls, “The best intro econ teacher I know,” has a textbook out“. The book is available as a free download.

Taylor himself writes “The publisher, Freeload Press, will earn revenue by selling advertising on the website where the book is distributed. Also, when you download chapters (as PDF files), the first couple of pages might be advertisements. There is a short registration form, but downloads are free.”

Here are the links for the free donwloads:

Principles of Macroeconomics

Principles of Microeconomics

A note of caution: registration in my case turned out to be problematic: the system did not recognize my university address and I could never get past the registration step (I am going to retry registering again tomorrow).

Roth on repugnant markets

Al Roth discusses repugnant markets in the paper  Repugnance as a Constraint on Markets
published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives,  Summer 2007. Vol. 21, Iss. 3. You can get an earlier draft of the paper from here. You can also read Roth’s discussion with Martha Lagace on the topic in Repugnant Markets and How They Get That Way. The Economist blog Free Exchangealso discusses Roth’s paper in Repugnant markets: it’s not just kidneys.

Repugnant markets

Thousands of people die every year while on the waiting list for a kidney; billions have a spare kidney. There’s the possibility of a trade here, but buying and selling kidneys is widely thought of as, frankly, a repugnant exploitation of the poor by the rich. Should it be? (…) Kidney selling is just one example of a repugnant market …”

Tim Harford discussed repugnant markets in a BBC News programme, from which I took the except above. Now he takes up the issue again in his blog. Russ Roberts also discusses with Richard Epstein what we should be allowed to sell and buy in a podcast on the economics of organ donation at EconTalk.

Good food for thought.

Trends in undergraduate economics degrees awarded to women in 2001-2006

Siegfried (2007) reports that the percentage of undergraduate degrees in economics awarded to women “has declined slowly but steadily over the past five years, from a peak of 34.4 percent in 2001 to 31.0 percent in 2006. Although the decline in the share of women among undergraduate economics degrees awarded over the past five years is only 3.4 percentage points, the drop has occurred during a period when the share of all bachelor’s degrees earned by women has risen from 57.2 to 59.0 percent.

See Trends in Undergraduate Economics Degrees, 1991-2006 by John J Siegfried in the Journal of Economic Education. Washington: Summer 2007. Vol. 38, Iss. 3; pg. 360