Associate Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley
I am an associate professor (with tenure) of economics at UC Berkeley, and a research associate at the NBER. I conduct research in Public Economics and Behavioral Economics, typically at the intersection of the two fields. See here for an overview that I've written about this intersection.
Using a combination of theory, field experiments, surveys, and quasi-experiments, I study topics such as: inattention to and misunderstanding of complex tax incentives; "sin taxes" on goods such as sugary drinks; consumer-facing energy policy and regulation; welfare effects of non-standard policy levers (e.g., info labels, social recognition); and financial decision-making by low income populations (e.g., payday loan borrowers).
Sufficient Statistics for Nonlinear Tax Systems with Preference Heterogeneity (with Antoine Ferey and Benjamin B. Lockwood)
What Drives Demand for State-Run Lotteries? Evidence and Welfare Implications (with Hunt Allcott, Benjamin B. Lockwood, and Afras Sial)
Dynamic Preference "Reversals" and Time Inconsistency (with Philipp Strack)
Biased Memory and Perceptions of Self Control (with Afras Sial and Justin Sydnor)
When do "Nudges" Increase Welfare? (with Hunt Allcott and William Morrison). Email for draft.
Publications and forthcoming
Is Attention Produced Optimally? Theory and Evidence from Experiments with Bandwidth Enhancements forthcoming at Econometrica (with Erin Bronchetti, Judd Kessler, Ellen Magenheim, and Eric Zwick)
Measuring the Welfare Effects of Shame and Pride (with Luigi Butera, Robert Metcalfe, and William Morrison) American Economic Review, Vol 112, No 1 (2022): 122-168.
Are High-Interest Loans Predatory? Theory and Evidence from Payday Lending (with Hunt Allcott, Josh Kim, and Jonathan Zinman) Review of Economic Studies, Vol 89, Issue 3 (2022): 1041-1084.
Who Chooses Commitment? Evidence and Welfare Implications (with Mariana Carrera, Heather Royer, Mark Stehr, and Justin Sydnor) Review of Economic Studies, Vol 89, Issue 3 (2022): 1205–1244.
Rules of Thumb and Attention Elasticities: Evidence from Under- and Overreaction to Taxes (with William Morrison) Forthcoming at the Review of Economics and Statistics
Measuring "Schmeduling" (with Alex Rees-Jones) Review of Economic Studies, Vol 87, Issue 5 (2020): 2399-2438.
Regressive Sin Taxes, With an Application to the Optimal Soda Tax (with Hunt Allcott and Benjamin B. Lockwood), Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol 134, No 3 (2019): 1557-1626.
Evaluating Behaviorally-Motivated Policy: Experimental Evidence from the Lightbulb Market (with Hunt Allcott) American Economic Review, Vol 105, No. 8 (August 2015), pages 2501-2538.
Designing Better Sugary Drinks Taxes (with Hunt Allcott, Anna H. Grummon, and Benjamin B. Lockwood). Science, Vol 365, No 6457 (2019): 989-990.
Should We Tax Sugar Sweetened Beverages? An Overview of Theory and Evidence (with Hunt Allcott and Benjamin B. Lockwood) Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol 33, No 3 (2019): 202-227.
The Limits of Simple Implementation Intentions: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Making Plans to Exercise (with Mariana Carrera, Heather Royer, Mark Stehr, and Justin Sydnor) Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 62 (2018): 95-104.
Behavioral Public Economics (with B. Douglas Bernheim). In B. Douglas Bernheim, Stefano DellaVigna, and David Laibson (eds.), Handbook of Behavioral Economics, Volume 1, New York: Elsevier, (2018): 381-516.
Ramsey Strikes Back: Optimal Commodity Taxes and Redistribution in the Presence of Salience Effects. (with Hunt Allcott and Benjamin B. Lockwood) American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings, 108 (2018): 88-92.
What Makes a Price Fair? An Experimental Study of Transaction Experience and Endogenous Fairness Views. (with Holger Herz), Journal of the European Economic Association, Vol 16 , No. 2 (April 2018): 316-352.
Taxing Humans: Pitfalls of the Mechanism Design Approach and Potential Resolutions (with Alex Rees-Jones) Tax Policy and The Economy, Vol 31, No. 1 (2018): 107-133.
Tagging and Targeting of Energy Efficiency Subsidies (with Hunt Allcott and Christopher Knittel) American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings (2015)
Energy Policy with Externalities and Internalities (with Hunt Allcott and Sendhil Mullainathan) Journal of Public Economics 112 (2014): 72-88.
Network Architecture and the Left-Right Spectrum Art. 1. B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, Contributions 11 (2011).
The Allocation of Time in Decision-Making (with Chris Chabris, David Laibson, Carrie Morris, Jonathon Schuldt) Journal of the European Economic Association 7, nos. 2-3 (April 2009): 628-637.
Individual Laboratory-Measured Discount Rates Predict Field Behavior (with Chris Chabris, David Laibson, Carrie Morris, Jonathon Schuldt) Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 37, no. 2 (2008): 237-269
From Intentions to Actions: A Model and Experimental Evidence of Inattentive Choice (Retired 2014 draft)
Tax Psychology and the Timing of Charitable-Giving Deadlines (with Alex Rees-Jones)
A Cigarette Tax Has Saved Millions of Lives. A Soda Tax Could Too (with Hunt Allcott and Benjamin B. Lockwood)
Teaching and overview talks
Behavioral Public Economics Mini-Course (with Hunt Allcott and Doug Bernheim)
Behavioral Economics and Evidence-Based Policy Design (low-tech overview for general audiences)