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: 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: 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.

Weekly Seminar: Muriel Niederle, “A Gender Agenda or From the Lab to the Field to Policy” (Thursday, April 20th, 2017)

Muriel Niederle is a Department of Economics Professor at Stanford University.  She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.  She is a behavioral and experimental economist with a strong interest on gender differences in economic outcomes.  Niederle also has a line of work on market design.

Weekly Seminar: Collin Raymond, “Preferences for Non-Instrumental Information and Skewness” (Thursday, March 30th, 2017)

Collin Raymond’s research combines theory and experiments.  He primarily works on issues related to risk and information; especially how individuals seek out, and then use, certain types of information.  He earned his PhD from the University of Michigan in 2012.  He is currently an assistant professor at Amherst College, and will be starting as an assistant professor at Purdue in the autumn of 2017.