I am a PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of Warwick. In fall 2018 I visited the Center for Experimental Social Science (CESS) at New York University.
My research interests are Behavioral and Experimental Economics. In particular, I work on two broad areas. First, I am interested in overconfidence and the role played by motivated beliefs. Second, I study the role of emotions in decision-making and strategic interactions.
With Renke Schmacker
This paper aims at identifying how individuals search for ego-relevant information and how they subsequently update their beliefs. In a lab experiment, participants are ranked according to either their performance in an IQ test (ego-relevant treatment) or a random number (control treatment). Subjects are incentivized to report their beliefs about whether their IQ score or their random number is in the top half of the distribution. We ask for both prior and posterior beliefs after three rounds of signals. Before the updating stage, subjects choose between information sources that vary in terms of informativeness, skewness and framing. Moreover, in a further treatment we exogenously assign subjects an information structure to investigate their updating behavior absent selection. Our results show that subjects are significantly more likely to choose information structures that are less informative and positively framed if the rank is based on the ego-relevant task. We also find that updating differs across information structures but only when the ego is at stake. Taken together, we document that, in the IQ treatment, subjects choose information structures that allow them to underweigh negative feedback. Thus, we provide evidence of a novel mechanism that explains how individuals can maintain self-serving beliefs.
In many settings, economic outcomes depend on the competence and effort of the agents involved, and also on luck. When principals assess agents' performance they can suffer from attribution bias by gender: male agents may be assessed more favorably than female agents because males will be rewarded for good luck, while women are punished for bad luck. We conduct a laboratory experiment to test whether principals judge agents' outcomes differently by gender. Agents perform tasks for the principals and the realized outcomes depend on both the agents' performance and luck. Principals then assess agents' performance and decide what to pay the agents. Our experimental results do not show evidence consistent with attribution bias by gender. While principals' payments and beliefs about agent performance are heavily influenced by realized outcomes, they do not depend on the gender of the agent. We find suggestive evidence that the interaction between the gender of the principal and the agent plays a role. In particular, principals are more generous to agents of the opposite gender.
Anger and Strategic Behavior: A Level-K Analysis
with Eugenio Proto
Anger is an important driver in shaping economic activities. In particular, in instances that involve strategic interactions between individuals. The literature has emphasised how anger can serve as an efficient commitment device in situations of conflict. A possible mechanism acts through limiting the capacity of strategic thinking. Accordingly, with a preregistered experiment (experiment 1) – where we externally induce anger to a subgroup of subjects following a standard procedure – we show that anger can impair the capacity of thinking strategically in a beauty contest game, where angry subjects choose numbers further away from the Nash equilibrium and earn significantly less. Furthermore, we show with a second preregistered experiment (experiment 2) that this effect is not common to all negative emotions: sad subjects do not play significantly further away from the Nash equilibrium than the control group in the same beauty contest game of experiment 1. We verify the effectiveness of the anger induction also by using a novel method of textual analysis.
Choking Under Pressure in Archery
with Alessandro Bucciol
In situations involving high performance pressure, individuals may eventually perform more poorly than usual. We study this phenomenon, usually called "choking under pressure", in the context of a highly-competitive sports environment. Specifically, we construct a unique dataset on archery to study if performance deteriorates at the end of the match, when two players are fighting one against the other in the tiebreak. Our results suggest that pressure plays a key role: overall performance deteriorates in the tiebreak and more so in the tiebreak of the most important tournaments. Interestingly, this latter effect seems to be present in females only.
Teaching Statement: Coming Soon
Economic for Business
MSc Thesis Supervision (x4)
October 2017 - October 2021
Fall 2018 - Visiting Scholar at CESS - New York University
Master of Research
October 2015 - October 2017
Final Mark: Distinction
Master of Science
August 2014 - August 2015
Final Mark: Cum Laude - 8.6/10
Netspar Best MSc Thesis Award - €3,000
Bachelor of Science
Economics & Management
September 2011 - July 2014
Final Mark: Cum Laude 110/110
Studied at Durham University in the 2013-2014 academic year (Erasmus Exchange Program)
Took part in the "Excellence Program"
April 2017 - October 2017
Behavioral and Experimental Economist at London Economics. At London Economics I have worked as an Economic Analyst applying behavioral insights to help public and private sector clients understand consumer decision-making in a wide variety of domains. In particular, I have worked on the design of large scale online experiments, their implementation, the analyses of the results, and their dissemination to both expert and non-expert audiences.