The idea to publish a Handbook of Ecomic Psychology came up as a natural consequence of a discussion concerning appropriate reading material for courses in ecomic psychology. The discussion took place a few years ago in the Department of Ecomic Psychology at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. It was ted that there was a surprising lack of collections of pertinent readings, to say thing about the lack of textbooks in the English language. So the present editors, who had been involved in the discussion, decided to start working on a Handbook. The situation has changed quite a lot since then. There are w a number of books, internationally available in the English language, in ecomic psy- chology or behavioral ecomics. The interest in this field of study is expanding quite impressively. The Journal of Ecomic Psychology is w (1988) in its ninth volume and many other journals are publishing articles in the field. The application of psychological theories and methods to ecomic prob- lems or the study of ecomic experiences and behavior is variously referred to as ecomic psychology or behavioral ecomics. While in principle we do t want to overdo the differences between the two, we have a feeling that ecomic psychology has a slightly stronger flavor of psychology than behavioral ecomics which in its turn seems to be closer to ecomics. Psychologists tend to feel more at home in ecomic psychology, while ecomists seem to favor behavioral ecomics.