Behavioral Economics

  • Are fast-loan markets undermining or promoting welfare?
  • How should information about prices and product characteristics be provided to consumers?
  • How does the framing of the offer influence sales and perceptions about quality?
  • What if consumers make consumption choices that are self-harming, how should such markets be regulated in order to promote well-functioning markets and welfare?

Basic research in behavioral economics studies the effects of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social factors on the decisions of individuals and institutions, and how those decisions vary from those implied by classical economic theory. This subfield of economics is primarily concerned with the bounds of rationality of economic agents. Behavioral models typically integrate insights from psychology and microeconomic theory.

Applied research in behavioral economics leads to novel approaches to policymaking which are based on behavioral design principles. Typically, such research sets off by using behavioral models to diagnose important bottlenecks in policy. Subsequently, the researchers design and test scalable interventions that attempt to resolve these bottlenecks. Interventions may be implemented either in a controlled laboratory setting or in the field. Finally, the researchers report their results and inform the public so that successful interventions may be expanded.

Our Helsinki GSE behavioral group provides an excellent infrastructure for research in behavioral economics: The group maintains Helsinki Labbet, an online and mobile decision-making laboratory for causal experiments. It serves researchers working with basic and applied policy-driven research problems to test theories and policy propositions. Helsinki Labbet welcomes behavioral scientists, economists and other interested researchers to use its facilities. You may find our contact information in the link below. The collaboration with the Aalto Behavioral Laboratory offers facilities for the use of different physiological measurements.

Helsinki Labbet — Helsinki Laboratory for Behavioral and Experimental Studies

Behavioral Economics & Consumer Behavior:

Behavioral Economics & Consumer Behavior:

The inter-dependencies between competition and consumer policy have been increasingly recognized by academics and policy makers alike. In Finland, consumer policy authorities and competition policy authorities merged under the same roof when The Finnish Competition and Consumer Policy Authority was established in 2013. Behavioral economics and consumer research are key to understanding the connections between competition and consumer policies, since this research aims at understanding and quantifying the sometimes irrational (in the sense of self-harming) decision making by consumers thus providing tools for integrating consumer protection and competition policy analysis. These and related questions are being studied under the umbrella of “behavioral economics & consumer behavior”.