Weekly Seminar: Rachel Kranton, “Deconstructing Group Bias” (Thursday, April 18, 2019)

Rachel Kranton is the James B. Duke Professor of Economics at Duke University. She studies how institutions and the social setting affect economic outcomes.  She develops theories of networks and has introduced identity into economic thinking.  This current project engages experimental research on identity and economic behavior and uncovers individual predilections to respond to group settings. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics at the University California, Berkeley and has held fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Weekly Seminar: Olivier Armantier, “Overcoming Discount Window Stigma: An Experimental Investigation” (With Charles Holt) (Thursday, April 11, 2019)

Olivier Armantier (Ph.D.) is an expert in the field of Applied Econometrics, with special emphasis on structural models. Professor Armantier has applied these estimation techniques to a wide range of economic topics. His most significant contributions have been to the fields of Auctions, Experimental Economics, Industrial Organization, and Game Theory. In particular, Armantier has been working with the French and Canadian Treasuries to determine the best payment mechanism to sell government securities at Treasury auctions. Professor Armantier has also estimated complex structural models of incomplete information for the airlines and pharmaceutical industries. Finally, Armantier has conducted a number of experiments,  to analyze the behavioral foundations of economic activities. The structural estimation of these experimental data has enabled him to uncover new phenomenon related to learning, fairness and the perception of risks. Professor Armantier started his career at SUNY Stony Brook before moving to the Université de Montréal. He is now an Assistant Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Weekly Seminar: Charles Noussair, “Sequential Search with a Price Freeze Option: Theory and Experimental Evidence” (Thursday, April 4, 2019)

Charles Noussair is the Eller Professor of Economics and the Director of the Economic Science Laboratory at the University of Arizona. He is a co-editor at the journal  Experimental Economics and serves on a number of editorial boards. He holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the California Institute of Technology. His specialties are experimental economics and finance.

Weekly Seminar: Johanna Mollerstrom, “A Meritocratic Origin of Egalitarian Behavior” (Thursday, March 28, 2019)

Johanna Mollerstrom is Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University and received her PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 2013. Her main research area is experimental and public Economics and she is especially interested in questions related to demand for redistribution, social preferences, and gender. In addition to being in academia, she has a past as an elected politician in her home country Sweden. 

Weekly Seminar: Charles Sprenger, “Direct Tests of Cumulative Prospect Theory” (joint with Doug Bernheim) (Thursday, March 21, 2019)

Sprenger’s interests focus on the fields of Behavioral Economics and Experimental Economics. His research includes local and global investigation into subjects such as intertemporal choice behavior, economic risk preferences and the relationship of time preferences to certain economic behaviors.  Prior to coming to the Rady School of Management, Sprenger was an Assistant Professor of Economics at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of California, San Diego, and his M.Sc. in Economics from University College London.

Weekly Seminar: Sevgi Yuksel, “How Do People Choose Between Biased Information Sources? Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment” (Gary Charness, Ryan Oprea, Sevgi Yuksel) (Thursday, December 13, 2018)

We report an experiment designed to measure how (and how well) subjects choose between biased sources of instrumentally valuable information. Subjects choose between two information sources with opposing biases in order to inform their guesses of a binary state. By varying the nature of the bias, we vary whether it is optimal to consult sources biased towards or against subjects’ prior beliefs. We find that subjects frequently choose sub-optimal information sources, and that these mistakes can be described by a handful of well-defined decision rules. Most common among these is a confirmation-seeking rule that guides subjects to systematically choose information sources that are biased towards their priors. Analysis of post-experiment survey questions suggest that subjects follow these rules intentionally and find them normatively appealing. Combined with incentivized belief data and post-experiment cognitive tests, this suggests that mistakes like confirmation-seeking are driven by fundamental errors in reasoning about the informativeness of biased information sources.

Weekly Seminar: Leeat Yariv, “Statistical Discrimination and Affirmative Action in the Lab” (Ahrash Dianat, Federico Echenique, Leeat Yariv) (Thursday, November 29, 2018)

We present results from laboratory experiments studying the impacts of affirmative action policies. We induce statistical discrimination in simple labor-market interactions between firms and workers. We then introduce affirmative-action policies that vary in the size and duration of a subsidy firms receive for hiring discriminated-against workers. These different affirmative-action policies have nearly the same effect and practically eliminate discriminatory hiring practices. However, once lifted, few positive effects remain and discrimination reverts to its initial levels. One exception is lengthy affirmative-action policies, which exhibit somewhat longer-lived effects. Stickiness of beliefs, which we elicit, helps explain the evolution of these outcomes.

Weekly Seminar: Florian Ederer, “”The Persistent Power of Promises” (Thursday, November 8, 2018)

I am an Assistant Professor in Economics at the Yale School of Management, an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Economics, and a research staff member of the Cowles Foundation. My research interests include organizational economics, the economics of innovation, and experimental economics, particularly focusing on how firms design compensation and performance evaluation schemes to motivate workers.

Weekly Seminar: Axel Ockenfels, “Engineering Trust Among Strangers” (Thursday, October 25, 2018)

Axel Ockenfels is Professor of Economics at the University of Cologne, and Speaker of the University of Cologne Excellence Center for Social and Economic Behavior. His research focuses on market design and behavioral research. It has benefitted from various DFG funding programs and from various collaborations with governments, market platforms, companies and research institutions across Europe and the US.

Weekly Seminar: Dan Friedman, “Price Dispersion and Cycles: Theory and Experiment” (Tim Cason and Ed Hopkins) (Thursday, October 11, 2018)

Daniel Friedman joined the UCSC Economics faculty in 1985 after teaching at UCLA and UC Berkeley. He has broad research interests in applied economic theory, with emphasis on learning and evolution, laboratory experiments, and financial markets. The coauthor of five academic books, fourteen NSF grants, and roughly 100 research articles, he currently is studying a) financial market design, b) strategic behavior in real time, and c) evolutionary dynamics of continuous strategies or traits.

His popular book, Morals and Markets: An Evolutionary Perspective on the Modern World, was published by Palgrave-MacMillan in October 2008. A second paperback edition, co-authored with journalist Daniel McNeill, appeared in June 2013 with the subtitle: A Dangerous Balance.