Lise Vesterlund is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh and the Director of the Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Laboratory (PEEL). She is also a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. Vesterlund works in two distinct research areas: charitable giving and gender differences in the labor market. Her work on charitable giving aims to determine why we give to charity, and on how solicitation strategies influence donations to organizations. Her research on gender sheds light on why men continue to be more successful than women in climbing the corporate ladder. She has demonstrated systematic gender differences in behavior when deciding whether to enter a competition or a negotiation or when asked to perform a non-promotable task. In uncovering the drivers of these differences her work points to mechanisms that can be put in place to secure that the best-qualified candidates are those promoted.
Yoram Halevy is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Toronto Experimental Economics Lab (TEEL) at the Department of Economics, University of Toronto. Yoram’s research interests are individual and strategic decision making, which he studies using theoretical and experimental tools. He is particularly interested in what constitutes “rational” behavior, and investigating how (bounded) rationality can be revealed in various environments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.