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: Gary Charness, “Incentivizing Exercise Improves Academic Performance” (Alexander W. Cappelen, Gary Charness, Mathias Ekstrom, Uri Gneezy, Bertil Tungodden) (Thursday, September 27, 2018)

In a large randomized controlled trial, we test the hypothesis that incentives for physical activity can improve academic performance. We found strong support for this hypothesis: University students who were incentivized to go to the gym had a significant improvement in academic performance, by, on average, 0.15 standard deviations compared to a control group that did not receive any incentives. The success of this indirect incentive for academic performance emphasizes the importance of non-cognitive skills in achieving academic goals. Students who were incentivized to exercise report improved self-control and a healthier life-style.  Overall, the study demonstrates that incentivizing exercise can be an important tool in improving educational achievements.

Weekly Seminar: Ernst Fehr, “The Dynamics of Norm Formation and Norm Decay” (Thursday, September 6, 2018)

Social norms are a ubiquitous feature of social life and pervade almost every aspect of human social interaction. However, despite their importance, we still have relatively little empirical knowledge about the forces that drive the formation, the maintenance and the decay of social norms. In particular, our knowledge about how norms affect behavior and how norm obedience and violations shape subsequent normative standards is quite limited. Here, we present a new method that makes norms identifiable and continuously observable and, thus, empirically measurable. We show – in the context of public goods provision – the quick emergence of a widely accepted social cooperation norm that demands high contributions but – in the absence of the punishment of free-riders – norm violations are frequent and, therefore, the initial normative consensus as well as the high cooperation demands required by the norm break down. However, when peer punishment is possible, norm violations are rare from the beginning and a strong and stable normative consensus as well as high contribution requests prevail throughout. Thus, when norm compliance is costly social norms tend to unravel unless norm violations are kept to a minimum. In addition, our results indicate that – in an environment that has previously shown to be detrimental for cooperation and welfare – the opportunity to form a social norm unambiguously causes high public good contributions and group welfare when peer-punishment is possible.


Weekly Seminar: Daniel Martin, “”Inattention to Game Form: A Theory of the WTA/WTP Gap”, a joint work with Edwin Munoz Rodriguez, Northwestern (Thursday, March 15th, 2018)

Daniel Martin is an Assistant Professor in the Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences (MEDS) department at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.  He is a behavioral and experimental economist who studies the processing and disclosure of information.  For example, he investigates why firms do not voluntarily and clearly disclose information about product quality and why consumers do not pay full attention to information about prices or product quality.

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: Drew Fudenberg, “Predicting and Understanding Initial Play” (Thursday, October 5th, 2017)

Drew Fudenberg is the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at MIT.  He received an A.B. in applied mathematics from Harvard College in 1978, and a Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1981.  Fudenberg’s work on game theory ranges from foundational work on learning and equilibrium to the analysis of repeated games and reputation effects to the study of particular games, competition between firms, and other topics in theoretical industrial organization.  More recently he has worked on topics in behavioral economics and decision theory such as self-control and stochastic choice.


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: 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.

Fall 2016 Visiting Researcher: Johannes Leutgeb

Johannes LeutgebWe would like to welcome Johannes Leutgeb, who will be a visiting CESS from September to December 2016. While at CESS Johannes will be furthering his research agenda on long-run learning behavior in competitive environments, stability of cooperation and competition for influence.

Johannes Leutgeb is a research fellow at WZB Berlin and PhD candidate in experimental economics. He holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Vienna. His research interests are long-run learning behavior in competitive environments, stability of cooperation and competition for influence.

Fall 2016 Visiting Researcher: Rustamdjan Hakimov


We would like to welcome Rustamdjan Hakimov, who will be visiting CESS from September to December 2016. While at CESS, Rustam is planning to continue his research on experimental comparison of different matching mechanism, and various ways of implementation of the same mechanisms, for instance dynamic versus static versions. Additionally he will conduct research on effects of exogenous beliefs shifts about one’s relative ability on outcomes of centralized labor markets.

Rustamdjan Hakimov is a postdoctoral research fellow at WZB  Social Science Center Berlin. He acquired hi PhD from the Technische Universität Berlin in Summer 2016. His main research interest lays on intersection of behavioral economics and market design, in particular matching markets.