Prof. dr. Ulrike Leopold-Wildburger
University of Graz
Title: Operations Research and Behavioral Economics
Abstract: While operations research represents the field of a science for delivering better decisions using optimal (or near-optimal) solutions to complex decision-making problems our behavior in practical applications quite often has to deal with non-fully rational decision makers. The tension between the two scopes shall be worked out and supported by a series of examples. Coming from the field of OR we are aware that that techniques such as mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization are engaged in applications of advanced analytical methods with the aim to make better decisions. However, in everyday life OR is not executed in its pure version but often connected with other fields and disciplines, as psychology and behavioral sciences, integrating neuroscience and microeconomics. Some characteristic examples from the field of game theory will be prepared and checked with the actual behavior of decision makers in specific economic situations. We will deal with topics as cooperation, fairness and honesty and we will try to compare theoretical concepts with empirical data.