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Decision Making

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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.

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: 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Monday, August 15, 2022

Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

Projects in this sub-program study households and individuals, specifically the role of “choice architecture” on their economic decision-making. Research topics include:risk-taking and insurance markets; time inconsistencies and the annuity paradox; cognitive biases; behavioral applications to policy; experimental testing of nudges or other regulatory interventions; behavioral welfare economics; obfuscated markets; consumer finance; probabilities and perceptions of extreme events; behavioral foundations and heterogeneous agents in macroeconomics; etc.

Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Small & Medium Projects

The goals of the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program are aligned with the Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan (RDSP) and the National Privacy Research Strategy (NPRS) to protect and preserve the growing social and economic benefits of cyber systems while ensuring security and privacy. The deadline varies based on type of project.

Deadline: 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Greater Value Portfolio

The Donaghue Foundation announces its 2017 Greater Value Portfolio grant program that will fund research projects for three, four or five years with a maximum amount of $600,000 per award for the purpose of creating new approaches to achieving a higher value healthcare system. The goal of this program is to test new approaches and tools that organizations can readily use to improve the value of the healthcare they provide to their patients and communities.

Deadline: 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Doctoral Dissertation Research in DRMS: Does participation in project decision-making affect how intended beneficiaries report project outcomes?

Improving access to social services such as safe water and sanitation, education and health care depends on being able to learn what approaches work better than others, when and why. Household surveys of intended beneficiaries are an essential source of information about program effectiveness. Recent evidence, however, suggests that these survey data may be unreliable because program beneficiaries may change the way they report their behavior as a result of the program.

Political Communication and Accountability in Uganda

In many developing economies, poor social and economic outcomes are attributed in part to political decision-making that is unresponsive to the needs and preferences of citizens. Weaknesses of governance structures and social welfare in turn are associated with fragile security outcomes and economic failures that may in turn have implications for US economic and security interests. In light of these adverse outcomes, large amounts of development aid has been provided by the United States to bolster democracy and governance interventions in developing areas.

Attention Networks and Cognitive Challenges: Positional Advantages in Complex and Distant Search

Network theory has provided novel concepts and analytical tools for understanding how actors can leverage privileged access to others' expertise to make sound decisions. But to date it has focused on the social ties that comprise social communities. By identifying communities through network patterns of attention, instead of through patterns of direct soical network linkages, this project will identify cognitive communities, thereby reorienting network analysis from its traditional focus on social ties.

Incomplete Preferences, Stochastic Choice, And Time And Risk Preferences

Economists who study how people make decisions have for many years started from the assumption that if an individual is faced with a choice between different alternatives, he or she can order the options from "most preferred" to "least preferred", as well as a number of other assumptions.

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