Institutions & Markets: Micro Behaviour and Incentives, Information and Uncertainty
Microeconomics starts from the premise that phenomena should be understood as a result of individual choices. These choices are determined by the incentives that individuals face, and by the psychological make up of these individuals. Furthermore, competition, coordination and learning are vital in aggregating individual choices, and thereby shaping them into the collective behaviour observed in markets and even whole economies. This theme brings together researchers working on individual and group decision making, bargaining, risk sharing, contracts, behavioural approaches to savings decisions, evolutionary economics, experimental economics and competition among firms. The application of these works has been to diverse areas such as financial markets and banking, epidemiology, trust and social norms, decision making in human organ transplantation. It is hoped that a better understanding of individual choices will allow policy makers to eliminate some of the more obvious design flaws in their policies, and that a better understanding of how these choices interact to determine collective outcomes will help to identify policies that result in more stable collective outcomes (possibly at the expense of sacrificing some features that appear desirable at the individual level).