Weekly Seminar: Alex Imas, “The Dynamics of Discrimination: Theory and Evidence”, (Thursday, March 22, 2018)

Alex Imas is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and an Assistant Professor of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Imas’ research spans a variety of topics across economics and psychology. He has studied how prior losses and gains affect risk-taking, the use of prosocial incentives to motivate performance, and the ways in which people use others’ emotions strategically.



Weekly Seminar: Christine Exley, “Motivated Framing Effects” (Thursday, March 8th, 2018)

Framing effects are often attributed to misperceptions.  In this study, however, we document a large and robust framing effect that is not reflective of misperceptions.  Our framing effect persists when agents gain experience, pay attention, and are provided with information that prevents miscalculations.  We propose and provide evidence as to why our framing effect persists: the majority is driven by self-serving motives.  Our results suggest that framing effects, as well as other behavioral biases driven by self-serving motives, may be notably robust to de-biasing conditions.

Weekly Seminar: Katie Coffman, “Beliefs about Gender” (Thursday, December 14th, 2017)

Katherine Coffman is an assistant professor of business administration in the Negotiations, Organizations & Markets unit at Harvard Business School.  Before joining HBS, she was an assistant professor of economics at The Ohio State University.  Professor Coffman studies the dynamics of decision making by individuals and groups, and particularly how gender differences affect outcomes in economically significant contexts.  Recognizing that innovative ideas and good answers are valuable only if they are put forward, Professor Coffman employs controlled laboratory settings to investigate the factors that predict whether a person will decide to volunteer ideas, and to measure the effect of these decisions on outcomes.

Weekly Seminar: David Gill, “Using Goals to Motivate College Students: Theory and Evidence from Field Experiments” (Thursday, November 30th, 2017)

Will college students who set goals work harder and perform better?  We report the results of two field experiments that involved four thousand college students. One experiment asked treated students to set goals for performance in the course; the other asked treated students to set goals for a particular task. Task-based goals had large and robust positive effects on the level of task completion, and task-based goals also increased course performance. We also find that performance-based goals had positive but small effects on course performance. We use theory that builds on present bias and loss aversion to interpret our results.

Weekly Seminar: Piotr Evdokimov, “Delayed Review in Repeated Relationships” (Thursday, November 9th, 2017)

Piotr Evdokimov received his undergraduate degree at SUNY Binghamton in 2008 and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Minnesota in 2014.  He is an assistant professor at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).  His research interests include game theory and experimental economics.

Weekly Seminar: Devesh Rustagi, “Waiting for Napoleon? Democracy and Reciprocity Across Social Groups” (Thursday, November 2nd, 2017)

What explains large and persistent differences in reciprocity across social groups?  This paper exploits variation in historical experience of democracy over space and time in Switzerland to highlight its strong positive association with reciprocity today.  Individuals from regions that experienced democracy since the Middle Ages display stronger reciprocity than individuals from regions that acquired democracy only after the invasion by Napoleon.  Because historical democracy was widespread in Swiss German but limited in Swiss French-speaking regions, individuals from these groups differ widely in their reciprocity.  The difference, however, disappears when we compare Swiss Germans and Swiss French from regions without historical democracy.  These results are not capturing current institutions, beliefs, migration, historical dynasties, language and other group-specific characteristics.  Further results suggest that the emergence of historical democracy was due to idiosyncratic events and that its effect on reciprocity persists due to intergenerational transmission.

Weekly Seminar: Roman M. Sheremeta, “Why Are We So Competitive” (Thursday, October 12th, 2017)

Roman Sheremeta is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and a research affiliate at the Economic Science Institute at Chapman University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University. The focus of his research is in experimental economics and game theory, with applications to behavioral economics, conflict resolution, industrial organization, public and labor economics.

The presentation will be loosely based on the paper “Impulsive Behavior in Competition: Testing Theories of Overbidding in Rent-Seeking Contests.” https://ideas.repec.org/p/chu/wpaper/16-21.html

Weekly Seminar: Antonio Guarino, “Updating Ambiguous Beliefs in a Social Learning Experiment” (joint with Roberta De Filippis, Philippe Jehiel and Toru Kitagawa) (Thursday, April 27th, 2017)

Antonio Guarino is a Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at UCL.  He received his PhD in Economics from New York University.  His research interests cover financial economics (market microstructure), economic theory (social learning) and experimental economics.