Behaviour, Economics and Evolution (BEE) Specialization
Biologists study social interactions to better understand, for example, how organisms evolve and interact with their respective environments. Economists study social interactions to better understand, for example, how efficiency and cooperation can be achieved within groups given limited resources. This is useful for biology and economics and we believe it is time for economists and biologists to join forces and learn from each other.
With the BEE (Behaviour, Economics and Evolution) specialization we aim at an integrative understanding of social interactions, using knowledge from both economics and evolutionary biology. Three Masters of Science programs of the University of Lausanne contribute to this unique specialisation: the MSc Management and MSc Economics from the Faculty of Business and Economics, and the MSc Behaviour, Ecology, and Conservation from the Faculty of Biology and Medicine.
Why choose BEE? Economics teaches you what individuals, firms, or governments do when they want to achieve something but face constraints. Economics works fairly well in markets, but it falls short in explaining some of the most important problems of today: global warming, warfare, financial crises, biological hazards, etc., all of which depend on human (social) behaviour. Behaviour, Economics and Evolution (BEE) demonstrates that basic economic concepts like utility and maximizations can sometimes have an evolutionary rationale and sometimes not. Understanding what motivates human behaviour and where it comes from allows us to better understand when and why basic economic concepts can fail, and how they can be amended. By looking at the diversity of life, BEE also provides many examples of how organisms have solved conflicts within societies and managed to survive for millions of years in the face of biological warfare, predation, and endogenous or exogenous hazards. This is a key source of inspiration to solve economic problems of today.
The BEE specialization accepts students from the three contributing Masters and offers disciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and inter-disciplinary courses. We believe that this specialization will expand your career horizon.