»ESI Lecture Series, sponsored by IFREE

Friday lectures are open to anyone that would like to attend and will be from 3:00-4:30 p.m. in Wilkinson Hall room 116, except when otherwise noted below. For more information on IFREE please visit their website.

+-2014-2015 Lecture Guests

February 20, 2014, Jim Murphy, Ph.D. - Using Targeted Messages to Get People to Pick, Click, Give: A Natural Field Experiment in the State of Alaska

jim murphyAbstract: In May 2008, the Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 166 which allows Alaskans filing for their permanent fund dividend online to donate all or part of this refund to eligible non-profit organizations around the state. In 2013, approximately 26,000 Alaskans contributed more than $2.4 million (or approximately 0.25% of the total amount received from the permanent fund). This paper reports findings from a natural field experiment implemented in conjunction with Pick,Click,Give designed to uncover why people donate through Pick,Click,Give and identify ways for the state of Alaska to increase both the number of donors and total dollars raised. More than 250,000 households throughout Alaska were randomized into either a control group or one of two treatment groups that received a personalized post-card. Our first treatment message highlights the personal benefits of giving and encourages individuals to “Warm Your Heart: Share Your PFD” Our second message highlights the benefits to other of giving and encourages individuals to “Make Alaska Better for Everyone: Share Your PFD”. Preliminary data suggest that our messages had a positive impact on giving; relative to 2013 we observe significant increases in the number of donors, average donations per donor, and total contributions.

Bio: Dr. James Murphy is a Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). He arrived at UAA in 2006 as the visiting Rasmuson Chair of Economics, and decided to remain at UAA as a full-time faculty member after his tenure as Chair ended in 2011. Prior to arriving at UAA, he was on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California Davis and studied experimental economics as a pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Arizona. As part of a university partnership to develop a new experimental economics program in China, he is also a visiting professor at Nankai University and Chairman of their new Nankai Vernon L. Smith Experimental Economics Laboratory.

Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on the use of experimental methods to address environmental policy and natural resource management issues. He is an active board member of the International Foundation for Research in Experimental Economics and was a member of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee from 2011-2013.


February 27, 2014, Marina Agranov, Ph.D. - Equilibrium Tax Rates and Income Redistribution: A Laboratory Study

Marina AgranovAbstract: This paper reports results from a laboratory experiment that investigates the Meltzer-Richard model of equilibrium tax rates, inequality, and income redistribution. We also extend that model to incorporate social preferences in the form of altruism and inequality aversion. The experiment varies the amount of inequality and the collective choice procedure to determine tax rates. We report four main findings. First, higher wage inequality leads to higher tax rates. The effect is significant and large in magnitude. Second, the average implemented tax rates are almost exactly equal to the theoretical ideal tax rate of the median wage worker. Third, we do not observe any significant differences in labor supply or average implemented tax rates between a direct democracy institution and a representative democracy system where tax rates are determined by candidate competition. Fourth, we observe negligible deviations from labor supply behavior or voting behavior in the directions implied by altruism or inequality aversion.

Bio: I was trained both as an economic theorist specializing in political economics and an experimentalist. I received a PhD degree in Economics from New York University in 2010 and since then hold the position of Assistant Professor of Economics at California Institute of Technology, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences.

I study strategic interaction between agents. In particular, I am interested in two related and complementary questions. First question investigates how strategic agents respond to information determined often by political institutions in place, be it the pre-election polls, the partially informative campaign promises of candidates or agents’ beliefs about actions of other agents. The second question explores how strategic agents communicate information in their possession to other agents in order to affect their decisions. I use the combination of theoretical analysis and controlled laboratory experiments to address these questions.


March 13, 2015, Charles Thomas, Ph.D. - A New Perspective on Entry in Horizontal Merger Analysis

charles thomasAbstract: I analyze horizontal mergers in procurement settings in which competing for a buyer's business requires sellers to incur costs, say to design prototypes or evaluate production costs. Considering existing sellers' contest-level entry differs from antitrust authorities' typical emphasis on new sellers' market-level entry to counteract a merger's anticompetitive harm. I show that profitable mergers without efficiencies can increase consumer and total surplus by inducing more and stronger contest-level entry by the merged seller. This insight echoes common claims from merging parties that their merger will create a stronger competitor, and it suggests caution by antitrust authorities: when contest-level entry costs matter, standard models prescribe blocking procompetitive mergers.

Bio: Dr. Charles J. Thomas conducts research in industrial organization, antitrust policy, and microeconomic theory. After earning his Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University, he worked for six years as an economist for the Federal Trade Commission, where for antitrust investigations and litigation he provided economic analyses of competition in several industries. While at the FTC he held appointments as the Special Assistant to the Director of the FTC's Bureau of Economics and as a visiting research fellow at Harvard Law School. Since leaving the FTC he has worked at the University of Rochester, Clemson, and Vanderbilt.


+-Past Speakers

Dec. 12, 2014, Matthew Selove, Ph.D. - A Dynamic Model of Competitive Entry Response

Dec. 5, 2014, Gabriel Rossman, Ph.D. - Obfuscatory Relational Work and Disreputable Exchange

Nov. 21, 2014, Matthew McCarter, Ph.D. - Who’s Holding Out? An Experimental Study of the Benefits and Burdens of Eminent Domain

Nov. 7, 2014, Monica Capra, Ph.D. - The Neurobiology of Pre-play Communication

Oct. 31, 2014, Nathan Fong, Ph.D. - The Robustness of Anchoring Effects in Product Valuations

Oct. 24, 2014, Devin Shanthikumar, Ph.D. - CEO Incentives and Product Innovation: Insights from Trademarks

Oct. 17, 2014, Jennifer Arlen, Ph.D. - Does the Endowment Effect Justify Legal Intervention? The Debiasing Effect of Institution

Oct. 3, 2014, Roman Sheremeta, Ph.D. - Behavior in Contests

Sept. 19, 2014, Michael Seiler, Ph.D. - The Role of Prospect Theory in the Perceived Moral Reprehensibility of Strategic Mortgage Default - Watch lecture

Sept. 12, 2014, David Skarbek, Ph.D. - The Social Order of the Underworld - Watch lecture

Sept. 05, 2014, Ryan Oprea, Ph.D. - Testing the Theory of Continuous Time Games - Watch lecture

May 9, 2014, Leeat Yariv, Ph.D. - Collusion through Communication in Auctions - Watch lecture

May 12, 2014, Don Ross, Ph.D - Psychological versus economic models of bounded rationality - Watch lecture

May 2, 2014, Effrosyni Faye Diamantoudi, Ph.D. - Subsidies, emissions, and social welfare in general equilibrium with imperfect competition - Watch leture

Apr. 25, 2014, Greg Waymire, Ph.D. - Self-Dealing and its Concealment: Evidence from the Lab & the Field - Watch lecture

Apr. 28, 2014, Jeffrey Carpenter, Ph.D. - Motivating Agents: How much does the mission matter? - Watch lecture

Apr. 18, 2013, Tim Salmon, Ph.D. - Sabotage vs Discouragement: Which Dominates Post Promotion Tournament Behavior? - Watch lecture

Apr. 11, 2014, Paola Mallucci, Ph.D. - Fairness Ideals in Distribution Channels - Watch lecture

Mar. 17, 2014, Stephen Burks, Ph.D - Watch lecture

Mar. 14, 2014, Joaquin Gomez Minambres, Ph.D. - Goal Setting and Monetary Incentives: When Large Stakes Are Not Enough - Watch lecture

Mar. 7, 2014, Fabrice Lumineau, Ph.D. - Third Parties and Contract Design: The Case of Contracts for Technology Transfer - Watch lecture

Feb. 28, 2014, David Dickinson, Ph.D. - The impact of glucose on Bayesian v. heuristic-based decision making

Feb. 21, 2014, David Leinweber, Ph.D. - Nerds on Wall Street: Math, Machines, & Wired Markets - Watch lecture

Feb. 7, 2014, Robert Sugden, Ph.D. - Efficiency, Equality and Labeling: An Experimental Investigation of Focal Points in Explicit Bargaining - Watch lecture

Dec. 06, 2013, Jack Stecher, Ph.D. -Description and Experience Based Decision Making:  An Experimental and Structural Estimation Approach to the Decision-Experience Gap

Nov. 22, 2013, Matt McCarter, Ph.D. - The size of social dilemma science - Watch lecture

Nov. 15, 2013 Juan Carrillo, Ph.D. - Value computation and value modulation: a dual-process theory of self-control - Watch lecture

Oct. 25, 2013 William Gates, Ph.D. - Mechanism Design for Military Force Management - Watch lecture

Oct. 11, 2013 David Malueg, Ph.D. - The Best-Shot All-Pay (Group) Auction with Complete Information - Watch lecture

Sept. 6, 2013 Michel Regenwetter, Ph.D. - Random Preference and Distribution-free Random Utility - There are two papers for this lecture: Paper one. Paper two. - Watch lecture

May 10, 2013 Kimberly Wade-Benzoni, Ph.D. - The Egoism and Altruism of Intergenerational Behavior - Watch lecture

Apr. 19, 2013 Raymond Deneckere, Ph.D. - Multi-Dimensional Screening: A Solution to a Class of Problems- Watch lecture

Apr. 12, 2013 Caroline Thomas, Ph.D. - N-Dimensional Colonel Blotto Game with Asymmetric Battlefield Values - Watch lecture

Apr. 5, 2013 David Cooper, Ph.D. - Ambiguity in Performance Pay: An Online Experiment - Watch lecture

Mar. 22, 2013 Cary Deck, Ph.D. - Contests with Multiple Targets - Watch lecture

Mar. 15, 2013 John Roberts, Ph.D. - Does Working From Home work?  Evidence From a Chinese Experiment - Watch lecture

Mar. 8, 2013 Tony Kwasnica, Ph.D. - A Laboratory Comparison of Auctions and Sequential Mechanisms - Watch lecture

Feb. 22, 2013 Jordi Brandts Bernad, Ph.D. - Let’s talk: How communication affects contract design.

Feb. 1, 2013 Ron Siegel, Ph.D. – Large Contests - Watch lecture

Dec. 7, 2012 Quazi Shahriar, Ph.D. - When Does Cheap-Talk (Fail to) Increase Efficient Coordination? - Watch lecture

Nov. 9, 2012 Uri Gneezy, Ph.D. - Incentives and Behavior Change

Nov. 2, 2012 Glenn Harrison, Ph.D.  - Asset Integration and Attitudes to Risk - Watch lecture

Oct. 26, 2012 Michael Baye, Ph.D. -  Product Search Online - Watch lecture

Oct. 19, 2012 John Morgan, Ph.D. - On the Merits of Meritocracy - Watch lecture

Oct. 12, 2012 Jonathan Meer, Ph.D. - An Experimental Analysis of Charitable Donations of Time and Money - Watch lecture

Oct. 5, 2012 Joshua Tasoff, Ph.D. - Exponential-Growth Bias and Lifecycle Consumption - Watch lecture

Sept. 28, 2012 Charles Thomas, Ph.D. - An Alternating-Offers Model of Multilateral Negotiations - Watch lecture

Sept. 21, 2012 David Stephens, Ph.D. - The Natural History of Acquisition: Evolution, foraging, impulsiveness and behavioral plasticity. Further reading for this lecture. - Watch lecture

Sept. 7, 2012 Gary Charness, Ph.D.Experimental Games on Networks - Watch lecture

Aug. 31, 2012 Yan Chen, Ph.D. - Crowdsourcing with All-pay Auctions:  a Field Experiment on Taskcn - Watch lecture

May 4, 2012 Tim Groseclose, Ph.D. - Signaling Games and Media. Watch lecture

Apr. 20, 2012 Shawn Kantor, Ph.D. - Do Research Universities Generate Local Economic Growth? - Watch lecture

Apr. 13, 2012 Sean Crockett, Ph.D. - Do Reference Dependent Preferences Really Matter? - Watch lecture

Mar. 23, 2012 Max Krasnow, Ph.D. - Evolution of direct reciprocity under uncertainty can explain human generosity in one-shot encounters. Watch lecture

Mar. 16, 2012 Alex Brown, Ph.D. - Experimental Analysis of Envy-Free Auctions - Watch Lecture

Mar. 9, 2012 Keith Murnighan, Ph.D. - On Greed - Watch Lecture

Mar. 2, 2012 Jeff Smith, Ph.D. - Remarks on Field Experiments in Labor Economics and the Economics of Education - Watch lecture

Feb. 24, 2012 John Tooby, Ph.D. - The Welfare Tradeoff Architecture, Cooperation, and Social Emotions - For further reading please see: Formidability and the logic of human anger and The architecture of human kin detection. - Watch lecture

Feb. 17, 2012 Stefan Szymanski, Ph.D. - Contests on a Line - Watch Lecture

Feb. 10, 2012 Brian Roberson, Ph.D. - Dynamic Special Interest Politics with Relational Contracts - Watch lecture

Feb. 3, 2012 Alexandra Rosati - Evolutionary economics: Mapping decision-making traits in chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans - Watch Lecture

Dec. 9, 2011 Diego Aycinena Abascal, Ph.D. - Auctions with Endogenous Participation - Watch Lecture

Dec. 2, 2011 John Tomasi, Ph.D. - Democratic Legitimacy and Economic Liberty - Watch Lecture

Nov. 18, 2011 Hersh Shefrin, Ph.D. - Systemic Risk and Sentiment - Watch lecture

Nov. 11, 2011 Mark M. Bykowsky, Ph.D. - A Market-based Approach to Establishing Licensing Rules: Licensed Versus Unlicensed Use of Spectrum Federal Communications Commission - please watch this video before lecture - Watch lecture

Nov. 4, 2011 Melissa Thomasson, Ph.D.  - Saving Babies: The Contribution of Sheppard-Towner to the Decline in Infant Mortality in the 1920s - Watch lecture

Oct. 28, 2011 Gabriele Camera, Ph.D.- The coordination value of monetary exchange: Experimental evidence.Watch Lecture

Oct. 21, 2011 Parker Ballinger, Ph.D. - Individual versus Social Learning: The Importance of Demonstrability - Watch lecture

Oct. 7, 2011 David Budescu, Ph.D. - Taking Wason to the market:  Studies of the Wason selection task in competitive markets - Watch Lecture

Sept. 16, 2011 Price Fishback, Ph.D. - Comparisons Across Time and Space of Poverty and Social Insurance Programs. - Watch lecture

Sept. 9, 2011 - Anne Villamil, Ph.D. - The Effects of Credit Subsidies on Development - Watch Lecture

Sept. 1, 2011 – Gad Saad, Ph.D. – The Consuming Instinct 

Apr. 29, 2011 Donald Shoup - The High Cost of Free Parking - Watch Lecture 

Apr. 8, 2011 Kevin McCabe, Ph.D. – Experiments on the role of third parties on redistribution decisions. For further reading please see: Shared Experience and Third-Party Decisions: A Laboratory Result, Legitimacy in the lab – The separate and joint effects of earned roles and earned endowments in third-party redistribution, Whose money is it anyway? Ingroups and distributive behavior. - Watch lecture

Apr. 1, 2011 Michael Gurven, Ph.D. - Experimental investigation of fairness and altruism norms in small-scale societies - Further reading: Culture sometimes matters: Intra-cultural variation in pro-social behavior among Tsimane Amerindians and Collective Action in Action: Prosocial Behavior in and out of the Laboratory - Watch lecture

Mar. 25, 2011 Anya C. Samak (Savikhin), Ph.D. - Conducting Field Experiments with Preschool-Aged Children: New Approaches - Watch lecture

Mar. 11, 2011 Terry Anderson, Ph.D. -"I Own This Place”: Property Rights for Native Americans. - Watch lecture

Mar. 4, 2011 Blake LeBaron, Ph.D. - Heterogeneous Gain Learning and the Dynamics of Asset Prices - Watch lecture

Feb. 18, 2011 Catherine Eckel, Ph.D. - Giving to Government: Voluntary Taxation in the Lab - Watch lecture

Feb. 11, 2011 Jim Engle-Warnick, Ph.D. - Social Learning and Risk and Ambiguity Preferences - Watch lecture

Feb. 4, 2011 Peter Boettke, Ph.D. - Polycentrism and Gargantua: Which Model Best Provides Public Education? - Watch lecture

Dec. 10, 2010 Deirdre McCloskey, Ph.D. – Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World, and Why a Change in Talk Does - Watch lecture

Nov. 5, 2010 James Choi, Ph.D.Religious Identity and Economic Behavior - Watch lecture

Oct. 29, 2010 Svetlana Pevnitskaya, Ph.D. - The Effect of Access to Clean Technology on Pollution Reduction: an Experiment. Watch lecture

Oct. 22, 2010 Craig Yirush, Ph.D.Indigenous Rights in Early Modern Perspective. Watch lecture

Oct. 15, 2010 John Duffy, Ph.D.A Dynamic General Equilibrium Approach to Asset Pricing Experiments. Watch lecture

Oct. 5, 2010 Andreas Wilke, Ph.D. - Past and Present Environments: The Evolution of Decision Making

Sept. 24, 2010 David Schmidtz, Ph.D. - What is Nonideal Theory?

Sept. 10, 2010 Charles Thomas, Ph.D. - Equilibrium Behavior in a Model of Multilateral Negotiations - Watch lecture

May 7, 2010 Jim Gentle, Ph.D. - The Contribution of Jumps to the Volatility of Asset Prices - Watch lecture

Apr. 23, 2010 Robert Kurzban Ph.D. - Adaptationist Morality - Watch lecture

Apr. 16, 2010 Menas Kafatos - Climate Change, Facts and Hype: Hazards and Impacts and What does the Future hold?

Apr. 9, 2010 Gregory Waymire, Ph.D. - Can Trust Be Sustained in an Uncertain World When Individuals Have Machiavellian Intelligence? - Watch lecture

Mar. 26, 2010 John Rust, Ph.D. - The Flat Rental Puzzle - Watch lecture

Mar. 19, 2010 Jason Aimone, Ph.D. - Endogenous Group Formation Through Sacrificial Costs - Watch lecture

Mar. 12, 2010 Deirdre McCloskey, Ph.D. - Linguinomics: Thoughts and Theorems about Language in the Economy

Feb. 26, 2010 Ryan Oprea, Ph.D. - A Continuous DilemmaWatch lecture

Feb. 19, 2010 Oliver Good enough, Ph.D.Strategic Mechanisms, Functional Modeling and Experimental Design in Neurolaw. Watch lecture 

Feb. 12, 2010 Henry Butler, Ph.D. – Are State Consumer Protection Acts Really Mini-FTC Acts? Watch lecture

Feb. 5, 2010 Kevin McCabe, Ph.D. - Watch lecture

Dec. 2, 2009 Jeffrey Tollaksen, Ph.D. - New Ideas About the Nature of Time -  Watch lecture

Nov. 13, 2009 Sarah F. Brosnan, Ph.D. - An Evolutionary Perspective on the Perception and Utilization of Property . Watch lecture

Nov. 6, 2009 James Konow Ph.D.Just Luck:  An Experimental Study of Risk Taking and Fairness

Oct. 30, 2009 Jerome Busemeyer Ph.D. - A Computational Model of the Attention Process Used to Generate Decision Weights. Watch lecture 

Oct. 26, 2009 Harold Demsetz - Externalities and Social Cost . Watch lecture

Oct. 23, 2009 Dan Kovenock Ph.D. –   The Optimal Defense of Networks of Targets . Watch lecture

Oct. 9, 2009 Monica Smith, Ph.D. - A cognitive History of Material Objects:  The Archaeology of Possession, Inheritance, and Value . Watch lecture

Sept. 25, 2009 Bart J. Wilson, Ph.D. - The Ecological and Civil Mainsprings of Property: An Experimental Economic History of Whalers’ Rules of Capture

Sept. 18, 2009 Thomas W. Hazlett, Ph.D.  – Tragedy TV: Rights Fragmentation and the Junk Band Problem . Watch lecture

May 20, 2009 Gerd Gigerenzer Ph.D. - Homo Heuristicus: Why Biased Minds Make Better Inferences.  Watch lecture

May 7, 2009 Matt Ridley Ph.D. - The Role of Exchange and Specialization in Human Prosperity. Watch lecture

Apr. 24, 2009 Dan Bogart Ph.D. - Parliament and the Adaptability of Property Rights:  A case study of Estate Acts and the London Property Market. Watch lecture

Apr. 17, 2009 Jasmina Arifovic Ph.D. - A Behavioral Model for Mechanism Design: Individual Evolutionary Learning. Watch lecture

Apr. 3, 2009 John Dickhaut Ph.D.- High Stakes Behavior with Low Payoffs: Inducing Preferences with Holt-Laury Gambles . Watch lecture

Mar. 27, 2009 Arun Sood Ph.D.Self Cleansing Intrusion Tolerance Watch lecture

Mar. 20, 2009 John Ledyard Ph.D. – Individual Evolutionary Learning, Other-regarding Preferences, and the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism. Watch lecture

Mar. 13, 2009 Gregory Waymire Ph.D. - Transaction Records, Impersonal Exchange, and Division of Labor. Watch lecture

Mar. 6, 2009 James Murphy Ph.D. – Rent Dissipation in Competitive Fisheries: An Experimental Analysis. Watch lecture

Feb. 27, 2009 Amnon Rapoport Ph.D. - Coordination in Large-scale Networks under Two different Information Structures: A Laboratory Study. Watch lecture

Feb. 13, 2009 Elena Asparouhova Ph.D. - Cognitive Biases, Ambiguity Aversion and Asset Pricing in Financial Markets. Watch lecture

Feb. 6, 2009 Cary Deck Ph.D. - Sequentially Pricing Multiple Products: Theory and Experiments. Watch lecture

Jan. 16, 2009 Jean-Laurent Rosenthal Ph.D.Market for Mortgages. Watch lecture

Dec. 5, 2008 Hillard Kaplan Ph.D. - Evolution of Aging. Watch lecture

Nov. 21, 2008 Michael McBride Ph.D. -  Conflict and the Shadow of the Future: An Experimental Study.  Background and theoretical basis. Watch lecture

Nov. 7, 2008 Larry Iannaccone Ph.D. - Looking Backward: A Cross-National Study of Religious Trends. Watch lecture

Nov. 6, 2008 Barry Chiswick Ph.D. - Why is the Payoff to Schooling Smaller for Immigrants? Watch lecture

Oct. 31, 2008 John Dickhaut Ph.D. - Efficient Markets and Drift: A Computational Approach. Watch lecture

Oct. 24, 2008  Abel Winn Ph.D. - Framing Effects in Two-Side Clock Auctions. Watch lecture

Oct. 17, 2008  Eric Schoenberg Ph.D. - Relative Wealth Concerns and Asset Bubbles: An Experimental Approach. Watch lecture

Oct. 3, 2008 Peter Bossaerts Ph.D. - Exploring the Nature of "Trading Intuition"

Sept. 15, 2008  Thomas A.  Rietz Ph.D. - Product market efficiency:  The bright side of myopic, uninformed, and passive external finance

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    Disability services will be provided upon request. If you require specific accommodations for attending a lecture, your request must be submitted no later than 7 days prior to the lecture date.

    Please submit requests or questions to: Cyndi Dumas at (714) 516-4513 or dumas@chapman.edu.

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