2214 Household Finance
Assist.Prof. PD Tobin Hanspal, Ph.D.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/01/22 to 09/30/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 10/04/22 10:00 AM - 01:15 PM D4.0.019
Thursday 10/13/22 10:00 AM - 01:15 PM D4.0.019
Thursday 10/20/22 10:00 AM - 01:15 PM D4.0.019
Tuesday 10/25/22 12:15 PM - 03:30 PM D4.0.124
Thursday 11/10/22 10:00 AM - 01:15 PM D4.0.019
Thursday 11/17/22 10:00 AM - 01:15 PM D4.0.019
Thursday 11/24/22 10:00 AM - 01:15 PM D4.0.019

This course examines the complex financial decisions that individuals and households face over the course of their lives and how households use and access financial markets to make such decisions. The course will follow recent academic literature highlighting and explaining the most central topics from household finance on savings, investments, and consumption and debt. The course will focus on current research investigating important topics such as: risk taking, nonparticipation, and under-diversification; learning, experiences, and belief/expectation formation; investment biases and mistakes; the influence of peers and (social) advice; and financial literacy and educational interventions aimed at improving financial outcomes. An important aspect of this course will be to consider open questions for research and how supply-side actors help or harm consumers, and equilibrium outcomes.

Learning outcomes

Students who have successfully completed this course will have acquired the following skills:

· Gain a thorough understanding of the state of the art in research on household finance

· Understand workhorse models used to think about consumption, savings, and investments

· Think about own future research in household finance and related fields

· Consider how technology has and will continue to influence financial decision-making and market outcomes for individuals and households

· Apply concepts from finance to retail and professional investors, equity markets, experimental and laboratory settings, and non-equity markets.

· Think critically about current research, and apply insights from research in a market setting.


Moreover, the class will contribute to the students’ ability to:

· Summarize and professionally present academic material in a concise way

· Understand important concepts, findings, and implications from theoretical, empirical and experimental studies.


After completing this class the student will also have the ability to:

· Apply basic insights from household and behavioral finance to decision making.

· Think critically about current research, and apply insights from research in a market setting.

Attendance requirements

Attendance is required and points can be earned from active participation. Students may not miss more than 20% of classes.

Teaching/learning method(s)

This course consists of a mix of regular lectures, discussions and analyses of assignments. The lectures will be largely based on the instructor’s lecture notes and additional readings. These readings will come largely from very recent pre-print academic articles, attempting to focus on the current state of the art. The lectures aim to communicate to students the theoretical framework and main concepts behind various topics in behavioral and household finance. To each main section of the class there will be reading (and discussion) assignments to gain a deeper understanding behind the concepts developed during the lectures.

In a preset number of class sessions, the 3-hour block will be divided by a full lecture followed by detailed discussion on one or few relevant papers.  In these sessions, students will be asked to prepare a presentation of the paper while other students will be allocated as discussants. Each student will prepare their assigned role and the presenters will be chosen at random.

In addition, students will be asked to individually prepare a research proposal on a topic of their choice/interest so long as it relates to household finance (loosely defined). The proposal will be a written project detailing the motivation, contribution to the literature, theoretical foundation, and empirical (or experimental, or theoretical) approach. These proposals should be less than 5 pages long.

Final assessment of the course will be based on individual research proposals and class attendance and participation in the assignments.

All assignments must be sent to the instructor electronically by the stated deadlines (to be confirmed alongside course schedule).

  • Individual research proposal (60%)
  • Participation in class (40%)

Students need at least 50% of the total points to pass this course. The remaining cut-off points are 65, 77.5, 90.


Last edited: 2022-08-30