The School of Economics offers dedicated studentships to prospective candidates starting the PhD Economics programme in the Academic Year 2022/23 and pursuing projects in topics of particular interest to the School. These studentships will be awarded to applicants that submit the most promising research proposals based on the project outline reported below and clearly demonstrate academic excellence in the area of Behavioural Economics. The application deadline for prospective students to be considered for this studentship is 28 March 2022.
Research Theme 1: Biased Beliefs, Social Norms, and Disadvantaged Groups.
Social norms, the shared beliefs about acceptable behaviour, constitute the informal rules that regulate behaviour in groups and societies. Beliefs about social norms, as well as beliefs about the repercussions should these norms be transgressed, can be an important determinant of behaviour in social settings. The proposed research focuses on the identification of (biased) beliefs about social norms pertaining to individuals from disadvantaged groups (such as women and ethnic minorities). The objective would be to use various empirical methods, such as surveys and experiments, to identify opportunities for change. Our primary hypothesis is that individuals have inaccurate or biased beliefs about social norms and that interventions that effectively correct these beliefs can support the behaviour change required to reduce discrimination and economic inequalities. The proposed research, therefore, links the growing literature examining the importance of beliefs about social norms in shaping behaviour, and the extensive literature in economics tackling issues on the discrimination of disadvantaged groups.
You would be working with Professor Ben D’Exelle and Dr Boon Han Koh (and possibly other behavioural economists in the School). Applications are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide with an original and high-quality research proposal.