Carnegie Mellon University
May 15, 2019

Carnegie Mellon Launches Executive Program in Behavioral Economics

By Stefanie Johndrow

Stefanie Johndrow
  • Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 1-412-268-1788

Carnegie Mellon University will launch a new opportunity to help senior executives leverage insights from the field of behavioral economics.

The inaugural Executive Program in Behavioral Economics, will be offered July 29-Aug. 2 on CMU's campus by the Department of Social and Decision Sciences. It is designed to help executives strengthen their brand, engage consumers, improve employee well-being and institutionalize an evidence-based approach to organizational decision-making and change management.

CMU researchers are at the forefront of behavioral economics. They use a distinct fusion of psychology and economics to tackle some of the world's most complicated and costly problems, and they design and test multifaceted interventions to change the way we make decisions, alter the way organizations operate and influence how policies are implemented.

The roots of behavioral economics started at CMU with the late Herbert Simon, a Nobel laureate in Economics, and current faculty member George Loewenstein, the Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology and a co-founder of the field.

"Corporations, startups and nonprofits are taking a keen interest in behavioral science, and we're excited about how this program will help them use insights from our research to improve their organizations," Lowenstein said. "Attendees will be instructed by our world-class behavioral economics faculty members who not only produce groundbreaking research but also have extensive experience consulting with industry partners."

Ideal for executives and senior management responsible for their organization's corporate strategy, marketing, sales, human resources or data analytics, the Executive Program in Behavioral Economics includes five days of instruction. Participants will engage in sessions on the foundations of behavioral economics; consumer engagement; employee well-being and productivity; ethics, diversity and change; and a workshop on big data and applied solutions.

Participants will be taught the foundational principles of behavioral economics that will quickly transition to real-world applications. They will learn about researching showing the large - and unpredictable - influence of digital design on engagement; the surprising links between non-monetary rewards, employee productivity and consumer loyalty; how employers can reduce biases in employee financial decisions and improve workplace equality; how inexpensive, behaviorally informed changes to the design of benefit programs can sharply increase employee participation; and how to design interventions to facilitate organizational change.

The Executive Program in Behavioral Economics fee is $7,500 and includes classroom instruction, program materials and meals. Anyone interested in applying can contact program manager Ben Schenck or faculty director Linda Babcock, the James M. Walton Professor of Economics.