Pioneering experimental and behavioural economics Pioneering experimental and behavioural economics

The Behavioural Economics group is a pioneer of experimental and behavioural economics.  UEA has been a leading centre of experimental economics since the 1980s, conducting some of the earliest economics experiments in the UK. Members of our group developed some of the earliest behavioural theories of choice under risk and uncertainty and made signal contributions to the problem of how to meaningfully measure how people value quality of life, the environment, and other goods and services which are not priced by market trading.

Our group continues to develop rigourous foundations for behavioural economics and the role of experimentation in understanding how people make decisions.  Experimental Economics: Rethinking the Rules, a critical discussion of the role of experiments in economics, was written by members of our group. Prof Peter Moffatt’s book, Experimetrics, is the definitive reference and text for using statistical methods to analyse data from economics experiments.  Prof Robert Sugden’s recent book, The Community of Advantage, continues his long programme of reconciling normative economics with behavioural economics.  This programme of work attracted a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for Prof Sugden.

Our group hosts a prominent annual workshop and summer school on behavioural game theory, with themes ranging from psychological game theory to information disclosure which highlight some of our areas of current research interest. We also co-host Contests: Theory and Evidence, the pre-eminent international conference on contests and competitive behaviour.

We are applying our expertise to develop the “science of the behavioural consumer” as part of the ESRC Network for Integrated Behavioural Science.  Along with UEA’s Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science and Centre for Competition Policy and collaborators at the Universities of Nottingham and Warwick, we are breaking new ground in understanding how, when and why consumers do or do not engage in searching in markets.  We are developing new models of the implications of consumer reactions to time-limited offers, common pricing standards, choice overload and perceptions of fairness for the behaviour of firms, and novel implications for industry regulation with the behavioural consumer at its heart.

We work directly with users of behavioural economics research, including projects in which economics complements other disciplines. Prof Theodore Turocy is the lead academic on a new Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Anglian Water to embed principles of behavioural economic decision-making and behaviour change into intervention design across the firm.  Dr Sheheryar Banuri has been working with governmental and international development agencies on measuring, detecting, and mitigating behavioural biases in professionals.

 


PhD Studentships

The School of Economics will be prioritising a PGR studentship for research in the area of experimental economic investigations. These investigations could lie in any area of experimental economics. Additionally, we are interested in expressions of interest to work in the context of competition analysis and consumer demand estimation.

The successful PGR student will be supported by the world-class expertise in experimental and behavioural economics found in CBESS and the School of Economics and the longstanding expertise and involvement in competition policy found in UEA's Centre for Competition Policy (CCP). UEA and the School of Economics have a tradition in excellent teaching (TEF Gold) and a track record in fruitful PhD student supervision.

We invite candidates with a first degree of minimum of 2:1 and (prospective) Master's degrees with appropriate research methods training to express their interest in applying for this studentship. At this stage, no research proposal is required. Please provide a CV and a brief letter of motivation, detailing how a PhD project would build on your academic/professional training and how it could shape your future (max. 500 words).

Expressions of interest to be sent by 15 November 2019 to

 

Dr Stefan Penczynski (Associate Professor in Economics and CBESS Director) S.Penczynski@uea.ac.uk

Full information on the UEA Economics PGR scholarships is found here.


Faculty staff

Sheheryar Banuri is a development economist and lecturer. His research focuses on motivation and decision-making in the public sector. His work is at the intersection of policy, economics, and public administration, and uses a combination of survey methods, lab, and field experiments. Sheheryar has conducted field research in Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the US. His work has provided policy guidance to the governments of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Burkina Faso. His research has been published in leading academic journals including the European Economic Review, Public Choice, Social Choice and Welfare, and the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

Michael Brock's current research interests explore the relationships between behavioural economics and environmental attitudes. More specifically, he is interested in discovering how we can examine the decision-making and preference construction of individuals regarding public, collective and environmental goods. From this, his work seeks to illustrate the ways in which we are able to identify and then direct people’s behavioural choices in a way which should enhance the collective well-being for society and/or the environment.

David Cooper’s research focuses on experimental economics with applications to game theory, organizational economics, and entrepreneurship. He has written papers on learning in strategic settings, decision making by teams in strategic settings, overcoming coordination failure within organizations, and the role of communication in fostering collusion

 

Peter Dawson is a Reader in Economics.  He holds a PhD from the University of Hull, is an Associate of the Economics Network and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.   Peter has extensive experience of the UK higher education sector having previously worked at the University of Bath and undertaken external examining positions at Imperial College London, Loughborough University and University of Sussex amongst others. 

David Hugh-Jones is interested in group identity, intergroup emotions, conflict and social norms. He has published his work in top journals in Economics (like Games and Economic Behavior) and Political Science (like the Journal of Conflict Resolution). David is the PI of an ESRC Research Grant on “The norm of honesty: empirical studies on school pupils and the UK population”. 

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 zeroes in experimental data.

Amrish Patel is a game theorist specialising in psychological game theory. His research develops models to identify the strategic implications of belief-dependent preferences such as reciprocity concerns and status-seeking.

 

Dr Stefan Penczynski works as an experimental economists and is interested in Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Game Theory, Information Economics, Political Economy and Development Economics. He analyses economic behavior such as information disclosure, social learning, auction bidding, jury voting, trust, etc. with innovative experimental methods that include natural language evaluation.

Anders Poulsen's general research interests lie within bargaining, distribution, conflict resolution, and coordination of economic activity. These areas are investigated using concepts and tools from game theory, experimental economics and behavioural economics.

 

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.

Mengjie PortraitMengjie Wang is a Senior Research Associate in the School of Economics. She holds a PhD in Behavioural and Experimental Economics from the University of East Anglia. Her research focuses on indivudial decision-making, in particular consumer behaviour. She is also interested in fairness considerations in competitions.

Jiwei Zheng completed his PhD at UEA in 2014. His background is behavioural and experimental economics, and research interests include consumers' bounded rationality and individuals' coordination behaviour.


Research Students

Dalal Alotaibi is a research student in the School of Economics. She has been a lecturer in Nora University in Saudi Arabia for five years. She is interested in social norms and culture, female labour participation in Arab countries and developing countries in general, as well as gender inequality.

Profile Picture Rosie AlmondRosie Almond is a research student in the area of behavioural economics, She has a particular interest in donation behaviour  and distributive preferences and their pertinence to reducing inequality and poverty. Exploring these areas, through the use of economic experiments, forms the basis of her research.

Kevin Grubiak PortraitKevin Grubiak is a research student working in the area of behavioural and experimental economics. His research interests comprise unethical behaviour, self- and social image concerns, self-serving biases, moral excuses, strategic information avoidance and lying aversion.
 

Prachi Hejib is a Research Student in the School of Economics. Before starting her PhD, she studied Behavioural Economics at the University of Nottingham where she developed her interests in experimental economics and individual decision making. In particular, she is interested in how behavioural biases affect individual decision making in complex and uncertain environments; whether firms can use these biases to take advantage of consumers; and how regulators can minimise such negative effects. 

James Merewood is a PhD Student in the School of Economics. James' research interests include behavioural and experimental economics, development, policy design and evaluation and the economics of corruption. More specifically, his PhD thesis, supervised by Sheheryar Banuri and Oana Borcan, focuses on policy interventions surrounding competitive selection of public sector management in developing countries.

Emike portraitEmike Nasamu is a research student. She is interested in Behavioural game theory, Experimental economics and sports economics. She is currently working on studying the effects of leadership in complex team

 

Loylom Prasertsri is a research student in the School of Economics. His main area of thesis is Economics of Corruption, with a particular interested in the use of laboratory experiments to investigate corrupt transactions