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Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Belief Formation and Choice in Games: An Experiment

Much of economic analysis is based on the idea that economic agents respond to incentives and that they will increase their effort to understand the consequences of their actions in order to make the right decisions. This research project will use laboratory experiments to test whether increasing the size of reward or punishment (stakes henceforth) while considering how others will react affect the effort one puts into studying the environment before s/he makes the decision. The research will answer the following questions: (i) does the size of stakes affect people?s choices and beliefs?

Imprecise Inference from Sequentially Presented Evidence

Understanding how people make decisions is crucial to advancing our understanding of economic mechanisms. Rational-choice theory, despite successes in accounting for some aspects of human decision making under uncertainty, fails to capture certain recurrent patterns observed in behavior, such as biases and apparent randomness in choices. Some of these deviations from optimal behavior suggest that information is processed in the brain in a way that introduces imprecision, similar to the imprecision in sensory perception.

Credibility in Persuasion

This award funds research in economic theory. The research team seeks to use tools from game theory to model and analyze situations in which persuasion, credibility, and information design are important. In many different kinds of economic (and social) interactions, one or more parties provides information to others, but also has an interest in the outcome. For example, a firm marketing a new product provides information about the product's features and benefits to possible buyers, but obviously the firm also wants to make the sale.

Human Networks and Data Science - Infrastructure (HNDS-I)

The Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) seeks to develop user-friendly large-scale next-generation data resources and relevant analytic techniques to advance fundamental research in SBE areas of study. Successful proposals will, within the financial resources provided by the award, construct such databases and/or relevant analytic techniques and produce a finished product that will enable new types of data-intensive research.

Deadline: 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Security and Preparedness

The Security and Preparedness (SAP) Program supports basic scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of issues broadly related to global and national security. Research proposals are evaluated on the criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts; the proposed projects are expected to be theoretically motivated, conceptually precise, methodologically rigorous, and empirically oriented.

Deadline: 

Monday, August 17, 2020
Friday, January 15, 2021

Accountable Institutions and Behavior

The Accountable Institutions and Behavior (AIB) Program supports basic scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of issues broadly related to attitudes, behavior, and institutions connected to public policy and the provision of public services. Research proposals are expected to be theoretically motivated, conceptually precise, methodologically rigorous, and empirically oriented.

Deadline: 

Monday, August 17, 2020
Friday, January 15, 2021

Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Do Identity Concerns Affect Labor Supply?

A sense of identity can be a powerful influence over behavior, including work. Workers who identify themselves as belonging to one group may regard a job associated with a different group as a violation of their identity, especially if the job is associated with a group perceived to have lower social status. This identity channel may partly explain why some groups are over- or under-represented in some occupations. The identity-related mis-representation of groups in occupations leads to a misallocation of talent and cause economic inefficiency.

Doctoral Dissertation Research: On Terror and Trauma: Governance, Law and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

While contestation of the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder paradigm is as old as the diagnostic category itself, the debate about what PTSD is and how to compensate victims remains unsolved to this day. Existing scholarship has examined how community organizing for compensation rights by Vietnam veterans, rape survivors, and high-risk workers has influenced the recognition of PTSD as a diagnostic category. But the intertwined juridical and scientific procedures through which PTSD evidence is indeed produced have received scant attention from the social sciences.

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