Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management ScienceKellogg School of Management
Center InformationDiscussion PapersContactKellogg Homepage
Advisory Committee
• Bag Lunches
• Theory Workshops
• Political Science-MEDS Workshops on Political Economy
Pre Docs
Internal Site
Northwestern University


We periodically invite to campus distinguished scholars to give mini-courses on a topic of current interest. These mini-courses are open to all members of the Northwestern community as well as visitors from other Colleges and Universities. There are two "teachers" in the 2014-15 series: Alessandro Arlotto, Professor of Economics at Duke University, and Matthew Rabin, Professor of Behavioral Economics at Harvard University.

The next "teacher" will be Matthew Rabin: May 18-22, 2015. His course is entitled "Errors in Statistical Reasoning: Evidence, Models, Implications."

Please click on this Google Document to sign up for meetings and lunches.

Please click here for the reading list.

Description: After giving a very brief introduction discussing broader limits to rationality, the lectures provide a more focused introduction to ways that people make systematic errors in reasoning about probabilities. Examples of errors discussed are base-rate neglect, over-inference from small samples, under-inference from large samples, and confirmatory bias. We will discuss how these errors affect over-confidence or under-confidence, the stability of beliefs, and whether people learn fully in the long run. Emphasis will be placed on how to formalize these biases and their properties, but the models are selected because of existing psychological evidence and because of likely economic implications, so the lectures are targeted at both theorists interested in models with empirical implications and empirical researchers interested in good theoretical and psychological foundations. Some of the theoretical and empirical problems with the models will also be emphasized.

Monday, May 18
Jacobs 1246

Wednesday, May 20
Jacobs 160

Friday, May 22
Jacobs 1246

For information on past mini-courses,



©2001 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University