Social learning and coordination (Ec 517, MA)

Christophe Chamley

Office hours: Wednesday, room 401, 2-5 pm, conditional on making an appointment not later than the day before. You are also welcome when my office door is open. 

TA: Meng Wu 

I agree with one comment below that the class should be taught at the PhD level. Unfortunately, there is no such opportunity at Boston University. May be somewhere else...


  • Transparent explanations and class presentations.
  • Professor is great and he knows everything in this area
  • Very passionate about the topic of the class and makes sure that the students understand the material
  • CC puts the models and ideas from his papers published at top econ journals to you. You can learn much if you are smart enough and hardworking enough
  • Need game theory for a pre-course, and may be too hard for most MA students
  • Sometimes, while explaining the concepts, professor Chamley loses the class. That is because we don't write stuff, he says it all. So, making connections between thoughts is hard sometimes.
  • TA never gave us feedback and doesn’t know anything about this course
  • Excellent.
  • Great Professor. I am glad I took this class for its experience.
  • Good course and work hard
  • Chapters 1 and 2: Bayesian learning, Sequences of information.
  • Chapter 3: Social learning
  • Chapter 4: Cascades and Herds (some--minor--changes of the text have been marked with red asterisks)
  • Chapter 5: Delays: no preset sequence of actions is set. All players have one option make one irreversible investment of a fixed size.
  • Chapter 6: Words: people communicate through words (and not through actions as in the previous chapters.) Revised, 04/06/19. More revision to come (exercises, biblio, and some additions.)
  • Chapter 7: Sequential information, bank runs and bubbles.
  • Chapter 8: Static coordination.

Answers to the exercises are distributed in class.


  • Assignment 1 :
    • Exercises 1.2 and 1.3 in Chapter 1. Try to do them without looking at the answers in the class notes. Prepare answers. Do not send them. They will not be graded. We will go over the answers in class.
    • Read the paper: Stone, L.D. (1992). "Search for SS `Central America': Mathematical Treasure Hunting," Interfaces2232-54.
    • Write an essay (2 pages) to provide your own evaluation of the search. Do not go over the description of the search. Assume that the reader has read the article. But write your answer such that the reader knows that you have well understood the paper.
    • Send the essay in pdf format to me not later than Tuesday midnight. We will discuss the paper in class.

All the assignments have to be sent to the TA, in pdf format, and not later than the deadline. For all exercises, the solutions will be handed out and discussed in class.