Abstract: How can the formation of beneficial, lasting habits be promoted? Previous research suggests that persistent habits often involve regular, cue-triggered routines. We conducted a field experiment with 2,508 employees of a Fortune 500 company to test whether incentives for exercise routines—paying participants each time they visit a company gym within a daily two-hour window— lead to more persistent exercise behavior than flexible exercise incentives—paying participants each time they visit a company gym, regardless of the time of day. We find that an incremental gym visit in the daily two-hour window, compared to an incremental gym visit outside the window, was actually less likely to generate gym visits during the weeks after incentives were removed. Thus, while routines may be a common and important component of many lasting habits, encouraging overly rigid routines can undermine habit formation.
BEPP250 - MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS
This course will introduce you to "managerial economics" which is the application of microeconomic theory to managerial decision-making. Microeconomic theory is a remarkably useful body of ideas for understanding and analyzing the behavior of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. The goal of the course is for you to understand this body of theory well enough so that you can effectively analyze managerial (and other) problems in an economic framework. While this is a "tools" course, we will cover many real-world applications, particularly business applications, so that you can witness the usefulness of these tools and acquire the skills to use them yourself. We will depart from the usual microeconomic theory course by giving more emphasis to prescription: What should a manager do in order to achieve some objective? That course deliverable is to compared with description: Why do firms and consumers act the way they do? The latter will still be quite prominent in this course because only by understanding how other firms and customers behave can a manager determin what is best for him or her to do. Strategic interaction is explored both in product markets and auctions. Finally, the challenges created by asymmetric information - both in the market and within the firm - are investigated.
BEPP950 - MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS
Public goods, externalities, uncertainty, and income redistribution as sources of market failures; private market and collective choice models as possible correcting mechanisms. Microeconomic theories of taxation and public sector expenditures. The administration and organization of the public sector.