Spring 2017 Visiting Researcher: Peter Schwardmann

We would like to welcome Peter Schwardmann, who is visiting CESS from February to April 2017.  Peter’s research focuses on motivated cognition and topics in behavioral industrial organization.  He is particularly interested in why people hold biased beliefs and in how biased beliefs affect market outcomes.  Peter works at the University of Munich and received his Ph.D. from the Toulouse School of Economics in 2014.

Weekly Seminar: Theo Offerman, “Fight or Flight” (joint work with Boris van Leeuwen and Jeroen van de Ven) (December 15th, 2016)

theo-1 When two players compete for a prize, they sometimes try to act as quickly as possible.  At other times, they wait and see if the other person chooses to flee first.  We study this interaction in the context of a dynamic fight-or-flight game.  At each moment, a player can decide to wait, flee or fight.  Players are privately informed about their strengths, which in case of a battle determine who wins the prize.  In the case that one player flees and manages to escape, the other player earns the prize plus a “chase-away value”.  We show that the chase-away value determines if fights occur immediately or only after a waiting period.  In cases where the chase-away value is positive but not too large, players can use time to learn something about the type of the opponent, as the weaker players may find it advantageous to flee earlier in the game.  Weaker players thereby avoid the risk of ending up in a fight.  We derive conditions under which this is the case, and test this experimentally in the lab.  Our findings support the idea that endogenous timing can reduce the likelihood of a fight compared to a static version of the game (where players decide simultaneously whether to fight or flee).  We also observe many fights early on in the game, even if strong players would benefit from waiting.

Weekly Seminar: Emanuel Vespa, “Contingent Preferences and the Sure-Thing Principle: Revisiting Classic Anomalies in the Laboratory” (December 1st, 2016)

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Emanuel Vespa is an experimental economist who studies behavior in economic environments using laboratory data. Most of his research is on dynamic games and on contingent thinking. Emanuel joined the faculty at the University of California Santa Barbara after earning his Ph.D. from New York University in 2012. He is currently visiting Stanford University for the academic year.

Weekly Seminar: Joshua Miller, “Surprised by the Gambler’s and Hot Hand Fallacies? A Truth in the Law of Small Numbers,” (joint with Adam Sanjurjo) November 17th, 2016

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Joshua B. Miller’s research combines both theory and experiments.  He has written papers on blame, accountability, and the perception of social risk.  Recently he has been working on projects relating to probabilistic and causal beliefs, and how they are reflected in individual decision making, games, and markets.  Joshua earned his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2009.  He is an assistant professor in the Department of Decision Sciences at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

Weekly Seminar: Attila Ambrus, “Experiments on Spatial Bargaining” (joint work with Ben Greiner) (November 3rd, 2016)

attila-ambrusAttila Ambrus is a Professor of Economics at Duke University, and a Research Economist at the NBER.  His research spans across topics in microeconomic theory, game theory, experimental economics, political economy and development economics, and include bargaining, strategic communication and delegation, group decision-making, coalition formation, and risk-sharing arrangements on social networks.  Dr. Ambrus serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Economic Theory, the International Journal of Game Theory, and the Review of Economic Design.  He received his Ph.D. in Economics at Princeton University, and his B.A. at the Budapest University of Economics.