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.

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