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Error, wants and shortcuts. Second generation Behavioural Finance and the new Cryptocurrencies

School of Business

About the Project

The rapid growth in the global cryptocurrency market (widely expect to reach a total value of $1tr by the end of 2018) has been accompanied by acknowledgement of the potential for extreme volatility within this upward trend, as well as risk factors that the market’s international nature mean cannot be addressed by conventional state use of monetary policy tools. The glamorous nature of the description of these markets and their product means that the attitudes of investors provides an ideal context for testing key propositions of the “second generation” behavioural finance paradigm developed by Meir Statman and others. In particular, the notion of “expressive” and “emotional” wants ties in with reported rationales for demand for Bitcoin and other similar instruments. Appropriate experimental design will be used to establish whether “shortcuts” driven by these properties represent “normal” behaviour in Statman’s taxonomy or instead represent cognitive and/or emotional “errors”.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Professor Bruce Burton ()
For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK in a relevant discipline.

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s English language requirements are available online:


Step 1: Email Professor Bruce Burton () to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Professor Burton, formal applications can be made via UCAS Postgraduate. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Accountancy and Business Finance: Select the start date and study mode (full-time/part-time) agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the ‘provider questions’ section of the application form:
- Write the project title and ‘’ in the ‘if your application is in response to an advertisement’ box;
- Write the lead supervisor’s name and give brief details of your previous contact with them in the ‘previous contact with the University of Dundee’ box.

In the ‘personal statement’ section of the application form, outline your suitability for the project selected.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses, via external sponsorship or self-funding.

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