Department of Economics

Economic Theory, Behaviour and Experiments

The ETBE research cluster combines tools and techniques from microeconomic theory, game theory, behavioural economics and experimental economics to address more fundamental questions about the behaviour of economic agents, and how such behaviour should be modelled by economists.

Current areas of expertise include bargaining and negotiations, repeated games, and behavioural decision theory -- that is, developing formal models of the behaviour of agents who fail the classic assumptions of full rationality, for example because of attention failures, mis-perception of time or reliance on possibly suboptimal rules of thumb. 

The cluster is not purely theoretical, with many researchers being involved in empirically evaluating and informing theory using a broad spectrum of approaches, with both experimental and observational data. The school of Business, Management and Economics has recently invested in new facilities for running behavioural experiments, and the cluster is active in economic experiments. We have also developed interdisciplinary links, in particular with researchers from Psychology as well as other disciplines within Business and Management. Within economics, there are links with researchers from development economics, environmental economics, and labour and education economics, and the cluster is also involved in behavioural policy applications. 

Current and recently completed research projects, with a variety of collaborators, include:

      •  Stochastic Choice and Consideration Sets.
      •  Inferring Cognitive Heterogeneity from Aggregate Choices.
      •  Stochastic Complementarity.
      •  Competing for Attention: Is the Showiest also the Best?
      •  Bargaining: how commitment claims are used as a tactic in negotiations.
      •  Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma.
      •  Repeated interactions and Cooperation: Efficiency versus Renegotiation Concerns.
      •  Welfare, time preferences and social preferences.
      •  Public attitudes towards public policy.
      •  Can rationality be taught? Experimental evidence from India.
      •  Intra-household decision-making in extended families in India.
      •  Mappiness: How is happiness affected by the local environment?
      •  Discrimination in the housing rental market in urban India.
      •  Incentives and group identity.

Snapshot of recent research findings

When rationality doesn't prevail

When rationality doesn't prevail from University of Sussex on Vimeo.

Fever pitch: are football fans irrational?

Fever pitch: are football fans irrational? from University of Sussex on Vimeo.

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