Behavioral Economics

Gone are the times of wholly rational decision-making based purely on the needs of the self. Standing in contrast to the neoclassical model of homo economicus, behavioral economics draws upon insights from the field of psychology to analyze how individuals behave in situations relating to economics. This involves social preferences such as fairness, as well as departures from entirely rational mindsets – loss aversion being one example of this. Neuroeconomics, a related area, examines the basic neurobiological principles underpinning economic behavior.

You will learn about the fundamental models used in behavioral economics and discuss how they are applied in labor economics, organizational economics, health economics, industrial economics, and development economics, making use of mathematical, statistical, and empirical methods such as laboratory and field experiments. Acquiring insights into behavioral economics makes it possible to create more accurate forecasts of the impact that policy measures will have on actual economic affairs, and forms the basis for designing new policy instruments such as nudging.

Career prospects

By specializing with the minor study program in Behavioral Economics, you will acquire analytical and empirical knowledge which can be put to use in both private and public institutions; for example, in the fields of human resources, organizational psychology and political consulting.


Behavioral Economics is available as:

Minor program: 30 ECTS credits.
Can be combined with the following major programs:
Business and Economics  
Banking and Finance    
Business Administration  
Management and Economics  


What next?

Are you planning to pursue a Master's degree program at our Faculty? Here you will find the further procedure.

Next steps and main contact points


  • Application and admission: To study with us, you apply centrally at the University of Zurich.
    Application and admission
  • Admission based on academic background: If you have a Bachelor's degree from another higher education institution, get informed about the categorization process.
    Admission to the Master's program
  • Changing program: You are already studying with us and have realized that you might like another study program even better.
    Changing program
  • Regulations: In the regulations you will find everything you need to know about studying here.
  • Questions about your studies: You are already studying with us and have specific questions. Our Student Advisory Service or the Dean's Office team will be happy to help you.