Stefano DellaVigna

Daniel E. Koshland, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Haas School of Business

Stefano DellaVigna is the Daniel Koshland, Sr., Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Haas School of Business.

DellaVigna is a prolific researcher in behavioral economics. His studies have explored consumer behavior, investor inattention, persuasion, and the interplay between media and politics.

In 2007, he co-authored a pioneering study that documented Fox News’s substantial impact on voting in national elections. The study examined election data in 9,526 towns that began receiving Fox News between 1996 and 2000. It found that the arrival of Fox in local media markets increased the Republican vote share by as much as .7 percentage points between the 1996 and 2000 elections. Overall, it estimated, Fox had persuaded between 3 and 28 percent of its viewers to vote Republican.

In 2013, DellaVigna and researchers in Croatia documented a very different kind of media impact. The study showed how the spillover of Serbian radio programming into Croatia spurred ethnic hatred toward Croatian Serbs and boosted the strength of extremist Croatian nationalist parties. The study examined areas in Croatia that received Serbian radio signals, which many Croatians tuned in to hear non-political programming. The researchers found that Serbian radio, intended for audiences inside Serbia, sparked a surge in hostility toward Croatian Serbs that was significantly higher than the increases in areas outside Serbian radio range.

Much of DellaVigna’s work on media stems from his broader work in behavioral economics on the topic of persuasion. Other papers have examined the impact of media bias on policy decisions, the link between movie violence and crime, and gender differences in altruism. In his latest work, he is examining the use of business deals as alternate tool in political lobbying.

A native of Italy, Stefano DellaVigna graduated summa cum laude from Bocconi University and earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Harvard University in 2000. He has been a co-editor and associate editor of numerous peer-reviewed economic journals, and he is a faculty associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has been teaching and researching at UC Berkeley since 2002.