Macroeconomics II: Behavioural Macroeconomics

Lecture 5th/ 6th semester


Lecturer: Klaus Wälde

Tutorial: Jean Roch Donsimoni and Alex Bloch


Exam: in English, computer based ("E-Klausur"). Answers can be given also in German


The lecture Macroeconomics II covers topics from behavioural macroeconomics. Unfortunately, this is not yet a fully elaborated field. We will therefore cover all kind of topics from behavioural economic theory and discuss the links or the potential links to macroeconomics. The material in this course and the link between psychology, behavioural economics and macroeconomics is therefore subject of ongoing research.

In this sense this lecture is a perfect example of research-oriented teaching -- one of the building blocks of JGU Mainz. As a downside, this implies that there is no textbook that covers all the material which is taught in the course. Students will be rewarded for this lack by an insight into state-of-the art research and thinking.

The lecture and the tutorial are held in English. The course is based on articles from the literature which students should read. These papers will be announced in the lecture. References are made available below after the lecture. Slides from the lecture are available in the JGU Reader.


The tutorial also offers various innovations. Half of the tutorials (run by Jean Roch Donsimoni in English) will be held in the standard classroom style. The other half (taken care of by Alex Bloch in English and German) will take place in the computer pool. Students will get to know matlab, a widely used software that allows to compute numerical solutions. The importance of matlab of course goes much beyond behavioural macroeconomics, economics or business administration. It is used in finance, in mathematics and in many other fields. Large banks and insurance companies also use matlab (or closely related other numerical software). Students will learn matlab from scratch (no previous programming experience is required) and learn how to plot figures, run loops, use if-conditions and solve differential equations. All of this will be taught using the questions on the problem sets of this course. A close link between economic intuition and numerical solutions will always be present.


  • Brandstätter, Güth and Kliemt (2010): Psychology and Economics rather than Psychology vesus Economics: Cultural differences but no barriers!
  • Easterlin (1974): Does Economic Growth Improve the Human Lot? Some Empirical Evidence
  • Kops and Wälde (2011): “Why do some decisions take so long?
  • Loewenstein and Lerner (2003): The Role of Affect in Decision Making
  • Rick and Loewenstein (2008): The Role of Emotion in Economic Behavior
  • Lewis, Haviland-Jones and Feldman Barrett (2008): Handbook of Emotions
  • Sargent (2008): Rational Expectations
  • Shaver, p., J. Schwartz, D. Kirson, and C. O‘Connor (1987): “Emotion Knowledge: FurtherExploration of a Prototype Approach