Research in behavioural and experimental economics Research in behavioural and experimental economics

Our research group was among the pioneers of experimental and behavioural economics. Members of the group developed some of the earliest behavioural theories of choice under risk and uncertainty, and ran some of the first economics experiments in the UK.

UEA has been recognised as a leading centre of experimental economics since the 1980s. In the rankings of economics departments published at for the most recent available period (1993-2003), UEA was ranked fifth in the world and first in the UK for ‘decision theory/experiments'. Current areas of research activity within the group include focal points and salience, bargaining, the nature of other-regarding preferences -- both social and antisocial, contests and competitiveness, and public goods provision.

Interdisciplinarity is one of the keys to our research success. Collaboration with researchers in other Schools within UEA is facilitated by the Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS), which from 2013 is part of the ESRC-supported Network for Integrated Behavioural Science.


Franz Dietrich works primarily on foundational questions about individual and social decisions, from normative, formal and methodological perspectives. His current research includes the theory of judgment aggregation and the modelling of reasons underlying choice. .

Enrique Fatás' experimental research focuses in the behavioural determinants of conflict, the interaction between diversity and social networks, the analysis of sanctions and rewards as norm enforcement mechanisms and the role of status in organisations. He has run experimental studies both in the laboratory and in the field in a large number of countries. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the European Union, the Economic and Social Research Council, national governments and private foundations.

Ben McQuillin is interested in game theory, social choice theory, and normative microeconomics. In one line of research he uses non-cooperative models of coalition formation, together with cooperative game solution concepts, to explore expected and rightful outcomes in situations where cooperation induces both surpluses and externalities. These situations range from transnational treaties (such as the hoped for ‘Copenhagen Protocol'), to corporate mergers and political pacts.

Peter Moffatt's principal research area is "Experimetrics", that is, the econometric analysis of data from Economic Experiments. He is particularly interested in ways of allowing for between-subject heterogeneity, and with this objective he has applied mixture models in various contexts, including risky choice experiments, fairness experiments, and public goods games. Recently he has extended the well-known "double hurdle model" to the panel data context, making it useful for dealing with excess zeros in experimental data.

Subhasish Modak Chowdhury's research focuses on the various applications of microeconomic theory with a special emphasis on contests – in which individuals or groups expend costly resources in order to win some reward. He uses both laboratory and natural experiments to better understand situations and nuances of contests, especially for cases in which field data is not available. Other than contests, he is also interested in analysing individual behaviour in coordination games, income and gender effects in altruist behaviours, and cartel deterrence mechanisms.

Anders Poulsen's general research interests are game theory, experimental economics and behavioural economics. He uses game-theoretic and experimental research methods to analyse bargaining and co-ordination situations, strategic moves, focal points, and monetary reward systems and incentives. .

Abhijit Ramalingam's research interests include employment contracts, and behavioural and experimental economics. His theoretical work focuses on the impact of social preferences such as concerns for status and work ethic on contracts and outcomes in a firm. His recent experimental work investigates the influence of relative comparisons on the behaviour of individuals. Currently, he is working on experimentally investigating the impact of different network structures on contributions in public goods games. 

Stefania Sitzia's research interests are in experimental methodology and in industrial organisations issues that she explores using experimental methods. 

Robert Sugden uses a combination of theoretical, experimental and philosophical methods to investigate issues in the areas of theoretical and applied welfare economics, social choice, choice under uncertainty, the foundations of decision and game theory, the methodology of economics, and the evolution of social conventions. He is the co-author of Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules, (Princeton University Press, 2009). Currently, his research focuses on the problem of reconciling behavioural and normative economics.

Theodore Turocy's research focuses on modelling how people perceive and behave in strategic situations, including applications in auctions, the provision of public goods, contests, network formation, and sport. He is the lead developer of Gambit, a widely-used software package for the computational analysis in game theory.

Daniel Zizzo's research is partly motivated by the search for more realistic empirical and theoretical foundations of economic decision-making. Current research interests include bounded rationality, consumer behaviour and nudging in the presence of complexity and inattention, expectation formation and behavioural macroeconomics, authority, social pressure and social preferences, cooperation and the methodology of experimental economics. They also include macroeconomic and microeconomic applications of theoretical ideas.

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