BEPP 0001

Business Economics and Public Policy 0001 (Introduction to Behavioral Economics) is one of the Wharton online for-credit courses offered within the Pre-Baccalaureate Program. 


BEPP 0001: (Introduction to Behavioral Economics) 

Behavioral economics applies insights from psychology to the study of economic phenomena.  This course will take the possibility of deviations from rational, self-interested behavior as a starting point, and explore two main questions: What does behavioral economics imply for public policy? What does behavioral economics imply for firms’ behavior in markets?  

Much of the class focuses on the role of behavioral economics in determining whether and how government should intervene in markets — including what policy makers should do to address market failures, combat poverty and inequality, and raise revenue (i.e., “Behavioral Public Finance”). The course will also cover how firms choose to price and to motivate workers in markets with behavioral agents and will examine whether market pressures will eliminate behavioral biases or whether firms will take advantage of them. 



Governments and firms set policy in a world of behavioral agents. This course will present economic approaches to these policy problems when individuals act in behavioral ways.  



This course is delivered via live synchronous class sessions, online assignments, online discussions, and readings. To be successful, you must actively engage with ideas presented in the course, and with those posed by your classmates.   

Assessment is based upon active course participation, readings, assignments, and a final exam. 



Course Topics: 

  • Basic Economic Principles 
  • Welfare Economics 
  • Market Power 
  • Externalities, Internalities, and Public Goods
  • Asymmetric Information     
  • Inequality and Redistribution
  • Taxation 
  • Pricing to Biased Consumers 
  • Behavioral Workers and Managers 


Synchronous Classes:  

Synchronous classes offer the opportunity to explore questions about the course and materials beyond the lectures through live interactions with your course instructor and your classmates. This class emphasizes discussion, and students are required to participate synchronously during scheduled class meetings. 


Course Materials Fee 


See full tuition details here. 




Course attendance and participation are expected on a regular basis.   

Technical Requirements: 

In order to fully participate in this course, you will need a computer that meets minimum system requirements for both Canvas LMS and Zoom Videoconferencing. Refer to the following links: 

Canvas LMS Support Resources 

Zoom Requirements and Support 

All programming originates from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Eastern Daylight Time). 

Instructional Team

Instructor: Judd B. Kessler 

Professor Judd Kessler received a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University in 2004, an M.Phil. in Economics from the University of Cambridge in 2005, and a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University in 2011.

In his research, Judd uses a combination of laboratory and field experiments to answer questions in Public Economics, Labor Economics, Behavioral Economics, and Market Design. He investigates the economic and psychological forces that motivate individuals to contribute to public goods, with applications including organ donation, worker effort, and charitable giving. He also investigates market design innovations, placing particular emphasis on bringing market design from theory to practice, with applications including course allocation and priority systems for organ allocation.

Judd is an NBER Research Associate and a JPAL Affiliate. His research has appeared in general interest journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Management Science. In 2021, Judd was awarded the Vernon L. Smith Ascending Scholar Prize. 


Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM)

Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM) is a creative, co-curricular community open to summer students as a way to connect to one another — and Wharton — before, during, and after their programs. Featuring both live and independent programming, the GYM is designed to ensure virtual participants don’t miss out on valuable community building and networking. 

*The GYM is included in all online summer programs, except Understanding Your Money.