The O’Donnell Center for Behavioral Economics at the University of California at Berkeley fosters research related to the effects of psychological, cognitive, emotional, cultural and social factors on the decisions of individuals and institutions and how those decisions vary from those implied by  classical economic theory. It supports both policy oriented and methodological research by hosting conferences and seminars, supporting researchers with grants and partnering with business and policymakers to generate research opportunities. Our faculty are economists in the Berkeley Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley’s Department of Economics, and UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. You can learn more about our team by following the links below or click on the Areas of Expertise .


Ulrike Malmendier

Faculty Director & Co-Founder
Cora Jane Flood Professor of Finance, Berkeley Haas
Professor of Economics, Berkeley Economics

Ulrike Malmendier is the recipient of the prestigious Fischer Black Prize from the American Finance Association, given biennially to the top financial scholar under the age of 40. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016 and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2017. She is also a Distinguished Teaching Award recipient, the highest teaching honor conferred on the Berkeley campus.

Research Summary:

Ulrike Malmendier’s work is focussed at the intersection of economics and finance, and examines how individuals make mistakes and systematically biased decisions. Much of her research has focused on biases of CEOs and other high-level managers and leaders. Her recent work in behavioral economics focuses on how lifetime experiences of economic shocks, such as high inflation and unemployment, shape an individual’s later economic behavior.

Core Faculty

Stefano DellaVigna

Daniel E. Koshland, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Economics
Professor of Business Administration, Berkeley Haas

Stefano DellaVigna is a co-editor of the flagship journal in economics, the American Economic Review, and has also been a co-editor of the first Handbook of Behavioral Economics. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow for 2008-10 and is a Distinguished Teaching Award recipient, the highest teaching honor conferred on the Berkeley campus.

Research Summary:

Stefano DellaVigna’s recent research examines the impact of behavioral factors in a variety of economic settings, including persuasion in voting, the forecast of experimental results, and the impact of present-bias and reference dependence on unemployment. His research on behavioral finance has focused on limited attention among investors.

Ned Augenblick

Associate Professor, Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Berkeley Haas

Ned Augenblick is a professor in the Economic Analysis and Policy Group at Berkeley Haas. Augenblick studied economics and psychology at Georgetown and mathematics at the University College Dublin, and received his PhD in Economics from Stanford.

Research Summary:

Ned Augenblick’s research focuses on the intersection of economics and psychology, and examines how beliefs, preferences and framing modulate behaviors in a variety of fields including politics and religion. Using a combination of techniques, he explores topics such as the influence of “choice fatigue” on decision making; the role of privacy preferences of agents in matchmaking scenarios and theoretical and empirical models to measure Bayesian updating.

Anastassia Fedyk

Assistant Professor of finance, Berkeley Haas

Anastassia Fedyk is an Assistant Professor of finance at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Anastassia holds a PhD in Business Economics from Harvard University and a BA in Mathematics with honors from Princeton University. Prior to pursuing her academic career, Anastassia Fedyk was a researcher and portfolio manager at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Research Summary:

Anastassia Fedyk’s research focuses on behavioral biases in individual and group decision-making, particularly concerning information and belief formation. She studies how information from a variety of sources, including financial news and individual employment records, influences asset prices.

Ming Hsu

William Halford Jr. Family Chair in Marketing
Associate Professor of Business Administration, Berkeley Haas

Prior to joining Berkeley, he was assistant professor of economics and neuroscience at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Research Summary:

Ming Hsu’s research involves using neuroscientific and computational tools to understand the biological basis of economic and consumer decision-making. His work is focussed on understanding how brain-based methods can be used to generate and validate insights into customers’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

Shachar Kariv

Benjamin N. Ward Professor of Economics

Shachar Kariv is a recent Chair of the Economics Department and former Faculty Director of Experimental Social Science Laboratory (XLab).

Research Summary:

Shachar Kariv’s research focuses on understanding how social preferences influence economic decision making. His recent work in behavioral economics uses experimental approaches to explore topics such as the distributional preferences of Americans during periods of heightened economic and social upheaval, the effect of gasoline prices on consumer spending and the differences in economic rationality of elites in developed and developing countries.

Headshot of Supreet Kaur

Supreet Kaur

Associate Professor, Berkeley Economics

Supreet Kaur founded and currently leads a campus-wide initiative on the Psychology and Economics of Poverty, based at the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA). She was awarded the CESifo Distinguished Affiliate Award in Behavioural Economics in 2015 and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2018.

Research Summary:

Supreet Kaur is a development economist, with research interests in behavioral and labor economics. Her research explores how social norms and behavioral biases such as the limits of human cognition and self-control problems can affect individual behavior and market equilibria. Her research uses insights from behavioral economics to explain why wages, unemployment, and organizational structures look the way they do.

Peter Maxted

Assistant Professor of Finance, Berkeley Haas

Peter Maxted is an Assistant Professor of Finance at Berkeley Haas. He is a recipient of the 2021 AQR Top Finance Graduate Award recognizing the most promising finance PhD graduates.

Research Summary:

Peter Maxted‘s research spans finance, behavioral economics, and macroeconomics. In recent work, he has studied how over-optimistic beliefs can lead to a buildup of crash risk in financial markets, and how present bias affects households’ response to fiscal and monetary policy.

Don Moore

Professor, Management of Organizations Group, Berkeley Haas
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Lorraine Tyson Mitchell Chair in Leadership and Communication

Don is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and holds the Lorraine Tyson Mitchell Chair in Leadership and Communication at the Haas School of Business. Prior to Haas, Don served on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, where he held the Carnegie Bosch chair.

Research Summary:

Don Moore’s work examines overconfidence in decision-making, negotiation, and ethical choice. His recent work in behavioral economics examines overconfidence in economic forecasts.

Terry Odean

The Rudd Family Foundation Chair, Finance Group, Berkeley Haas

Terrance Odean is a member of the Russell Sage Behavioral Economics Roundtable, is a Wall Street Journal Expert Panelist, and has been an editor of the Review of Financial Studies, one of the top-three finance journals.

Research Summary:

Terrance Odean examines how psychologically motivated decisions affect investor welfare and securities prices. His research explores how behavioral factors such as risk aversion and overconfidence influence decision making by retail investors. His recent work in behavioral economics includes an empirical study of the effect of overconfidence on the performance of investors with low security-selection ability and understanding the risk taking behaviors of participants in economic experiments

Ricardo Perez-Truglia

Associate Professor, Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Berkeley Haas

Perez-Truglia has been published in premier academic journals such as the American Economic Review and the Journal of Political Economy. His research has been featured in media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist and National Public Radio. In 2020, Perez-Truglia was named a Sloan Research Fellow.

Research Summary:

Ricardo Perez-Truglia’s research lies at the intersection of behavioral economics, political economy and public economics. His research is focussed on the role of social image and social comparisons in influencing economic behavior and how price expectations, tax compliance and preferences for redistribution are shaped by how firms and individuals acquire and process information.

Dmitry Taubinsky

Associate Professor, Berkeley Economics

Dmitry Taubinsky is an associate professor (with tenure) of economics at UC Berkeley, and a research associate at the NBER.

Research Summary:

Dmitry Taubinsky conducts research at the intersection of behavioral and public economics. Using a combination of techniques, he studies topics such as inattention to and misunderstanding of complex tax incentives; “sin taxes” on goods such as sugary drinks; energy policy for inattentive or misinformed consumers; welfare effects of non-standard policy levers (e.g., social recognition); and financial decision-making by low income populations (e.g., payday loan borrowers).

Faculty Affiliates

Josh Blumenstock

Associate Professor, UC Berkeley School of Information

Joshua Blumenstock is a Chancellor’s Associate Professor at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information and the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is the Director of the Data-Intensive Development Lab and the co-Director of the Center for Effective Global Action. He has a Ph.D. in Information Science and a M.A. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley, and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Physics from Wesleyan University. He is a recipient of awards including the NSF CAREER award, the Intel Faculty Early Career Honor, and the U.C. Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Public Service.

Research Summary:

Joshua Blumenstock’s research lies at the intersection of machine learning and empirical economics, and focuses on using novel data and methods to better understand the causes and consequences of global poverty. He has been involved in several projects that combine randomized control trials with large-scale data from fintech companies in Afghanistan, Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, and the US.

David Card

Class of 1950 Professor Emeritus of Economics
Professor of the Graduate School
Nobel Laureate 2021

David Card is the 2021 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences for work that challenged orthodoxy and dramatically shifted understanding of inequality and the social and economic forces that impact low-wage workers. He was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society in 1992, and in 1998 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1995 he received the American Economic Association’s John Bates Clark Prize. He was a co-recipient of the IZA Labor Economics Award in 2006, and was awarded the Frisch Medal by the Econometric Society in 2007. In 2015 he received the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award for his contributions to evidence-based economic policy.

Research Summary:

His research interests include immigration, wages, education, and health insurance. His behavioral papers include the study of the effects of pay equity of work satisfaction and the impact of emotional shocks to domestic violence.

Brad DeLong

Professor, Berkeley Economics

Brad DeLong is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He served in the U.S. government as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy from 1993 to 1995.

Research Summary:

His research in behavioral finance includes foundational work on the noise trader model, which forms the backbone to most behavioral finance models. His recent work in the area includes an exploration of modern consumers’ incentives, intentions and behavior regarding “ethical consumption”.

William Dow

Professor of Health Policy and Management, Berkeley School of Public Health
Professor, Department of Demography
Director, Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging

Since 2005,William Dow has been the founding associate director of the Berkeley Population Center and, since 2013, the director of the Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging. He has also served at the School as division head of Health Policy and Management and as the associate dean for research, and in 2018-19 served as Interim Dean of the School of Public Health. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and previously served as Senior Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Research Summary:

Willim Dow research is focussed on the economic aspects of health insurance, health behaviors, and health and demographic outcomes. His work in behavioral economics focuses on designing innovative behavioral economic strategies for preventing HIV and promoting behavior change such as smoking cessation.

Headshot of Paul Gertler

Paul Gertler

Professor, Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Berkeley Haas
Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics
Professor, School of Public Health
Faculty Director, Institute for Business & Social Impact
Scientific Director, Center for Effective Global Action

Paul Gertler was Chief Economist of the Human Development Network of the World Bank from 2004-2007 and the Founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) from 2009-2012. He is the author of the best-selling textbook “Impact Evaluation in Practice” .

Research Summary:

Paul Gertler is an expert on impact evaluation, acting as principal investigator on large, multisite evaluations of programs to fight poverty and improve healthcare in Mexico, Rwanda, and around the world. His recent work in behavioral economics focuses on the role of hedonic adaptation in subjective well being of the poor.

Ben Handel

Associate Professor, Berkeley Economics

Ben Handel is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He is a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Economics and participated in the 2010 Review of Economics Studies European Tour.

Research Summary:

Ben Handel’s research focuses on the microeconomics of consumer choice and market structure in the health care sector, with an emphasis on health insurance markets. His most recent research has emphasized the important role that consumer choice frictions, such as inertia and limited information, can have when assessing the welfare outcomes of different regulatory policies in health insurance markets. In addition, his work studies incentive design and adoption of information technology by medical providers.

Jonathan Kolstad

Henry J. Kaiser Chair, Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Berkeley Haas
Professor of Economics, Berkeley Economics

Jonathan Kolstad is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also the Co-director of the UC Berkeley’s Glibert Center. He is also a Co-founder and was Chief Data Scientist at Picwell.

Research Summary:

Jonathan Kolstad’s research focuses on decision making in high stakes and complex environments, particularly health care. His work on information frictions and consumer choice in health insurance markets, patient response to complex insurance contracts and physician intrinsic motivation have been influential in bringing behavioral models to key questions in health economics.

Greg La Blanc

Lecturer, Economic Analysis and Policy Group, Berkeley Haas
Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Finance Group, Berkeley Haas

Greg La Blanc is the recipient of teaching awards including the Earl F. Cheit Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Berkeley EWMBA Graduate Instructor of the year. La Blanc has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in all areas of business. Prior to arriving at Berkeley Haas in 2005, La Blanc taught at Wharton, Duke, and the University of Virginia. La Blanc has also worked in competitive intelligence and litigation consulting and has advised consulting teams in finance, marketing, and strategy.

Research Summary:

Greg La Blanc teaches primarily in the areas of finance and strategy in the MBA and Masters of Financial Engineering programs and in Executive Education. His research interests lie at the intersection of law, finance, and psychology, in the area of business strategy and risk management. His recent work in behavioral economics. His recent work in behavioral economics focuses on using neuroeconomic models to predict consumer behavior and understanding the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying information-seeking behavior.

Daniel McFadden

E. Morris Cox Professor Emeritus of Economics
2000 Nobel Laureate in Economics

Daniel L. McFadden is the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Economics for his work in econometric methods for studying behavioral patterns in individual decision-making. Among his many awards and honors, he received the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association in 1975 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1977.

Research Summary:

He has a long-standing interest in behavioral deviations from the standard model. His more recent focus on behavioral factors in healthcare such as understanding the role of inattention and switching costs in health plan selection, as well as examining the reliability of stated preference elicitations.

Edward Miguel

Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, Berkeley Economics
Faculty Director, Center for Effective Global Action, UC Berkeley

Ted is a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, has served as Associate Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics and Journal of Development Economics, is a recipient of the 2005 Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and winner of the 2005 Kenneth J. Arrow Prize awarded annually by the International Health Economics Association for the Best Paper in Health Economics.

Research Summary:

His main research focus is on African economic development. His more recent behavioral research includes the study of the demand for, and effect of, commitment devices for health behavior, as well as the effect of environmental factors on economic decision-making, judgment, and destructive behavior.

Ziad Obermeyer

Blue Cross of California Distinguished Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Berkeley School of Public Health

Prior to his current position at Berkeley, Ziad Obermeyer was an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, where he received the Early Independence Award, the National Institutes of Health’s most prestigious award for exceptional junior scientists. He also runs the Laboratory for Systems Medicine, a collaborative effort between Berkeley and the University of Chicago, to translate large observational datasets into new ways to understand and improve the life and death decisions that providers and patients make every day.

Research Summary:

Ziad Obermeyer works at the intersection of machine learning, medicine and economics. His recent research in behavioral economics explores how machine learning algorithms automate moral hazard and errors, and how prediction policy problems solved through machine learning algorithms can provide behavioral insights.

David Sraer

James J. and Marianne B. Lowrey Chair in Business, Berkeley Haas
Associate professor, Berkeley Economics

David Sraer received his B.S. in applied mathematics and economics from École Polytechnique in France in 2001 and his Ph.D. in economics from the Toulouse School of Economics in 2007. He holds the James J. and Marianne B. Lowrey Chair in Business at the Haas School of Business. He is currently an associate editor at the Journal of Finance. He is also a member of the Economic Council of the French Prime Minister (CAE), a research associate at the NBER and a research affiliate at the CEPR. Before coming to Berkeley, he was an assistant professor of economics at Princeton University.

Research Summary:

David Sraer works in behavioral finance and macro-finance more broadly. His recent work in behavioral economics explores risk taking behavior of managers at financially distressed firms and how managerial biases in forecasting lead to distortions in firm level investments.

Students & Pre-/Post-Doctoral Scholars

Nikki Azerang

Pre-Doctoral Scholar

Chazel Hakim

Chazel Hakim

Pre-Doctoral Scholar

Clint Hamilton

PhD student

Karin Li

PhD student


Erika Larson

Operations Manager

Erika Larson is the Operations Manager for the O’Donnell Center for Behavioral Economics. Prior to joining the staff at Haas School of Business, she provided operational and administrative oversight in a variety of for- and non-profit organizations, working to advance dialogue and policy on a broad range of issues from marriage equality to food insecurity. She has a bachelor’s from Philadelphia University (now part of Jefferson University).

Laura Chioda

Director of Research

Laura Chioda joined the O’Donnell Center as director of research in April. Her interests span theoretical econometrics, machine learning, behavioral economics, youth development, crime and violence, and financial inclusion. Previously, she was the director of research at the Institute of Business and Social Impact and the Lab for Inclusive Fintech at Haas. Laura holds a PhD in economics from UC Berkeley and was an assistant professor at Princeton. Before UC Berkeley, she was a senior research economist at the World Bank, leading large research programs and authoring several academic articles and two books: “Stop the Violence in Latin America” and “Work and Family.” She is currently the principal investigator on multiple impact evaluations related to social networks, labor markets, financial inclusion and behavioral economics. Her work has been featured in major publications such as The Financial Times and The Economist.

Chris Bush

Executive Director, Institute for Business Innovation

Chris Bush is IBI’s executive director. Prior to joining the institute, he served as the CEO and CFO of Monarch Media, an educational technology startup, for five years, and previously led digital marketing teams at Saba Software and Sybase in Silicon Valley. He holds a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of California, Davis.

Adriana Macias

Marketing & Programs, Institute for Business Innovation

Adriana Macias is IBI’s associate director of marketing, programs, and events. Prior to joining IBI, she held senior positions in design, digital marketing, and communications in the academic, nonprofit, and commercial sectors. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis.

Jan Tristan Gaspi

Financial Services Analyst, Institute for Business Innovation

Jan Tristan Gaspi is IBI’s associate director of finance and operations. He has more than 13 years of experience leading higher education finance and program teams and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.