From September 6 – 7, 2017, Dr. Ragan Petrie presented the keynote address at the fourth Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) Conference at the University of Chicago.
The title of Dr. Petrie’s talk was “Motives and Impediments to Give: Evidence from Field Experiments.” There are many reasons individuals are motivated to give to charity, including a desire to help, a connection to the cause, recognition, and because they were asked. At the same time, individuals may not give due to a lack of interest, not having the time, or the nuisance of finding a cause and making a donation. Drawing on evidence from field experiments on charitable giving, this talk explored various motives and impediments to giving.
Additionally, two TAMU experimental economics PhD students also attended and participated in the conference. Billur Aksoy (fifth-year doctoral student) presented “Donors’ Response to News: When Does Less Information Translate into More Giving?” Mackenzie Alston (fourth-year doctoral student) presented “High-Income Donors’ Preferences for Charitable Giving.”
SPI is a research and outreach project that utilizes rigorous quantitative methods and partnerships with the philanthropic community to explore the motivations behind charitable giving. The overarching goal of SPI is to develop a deeper understanding of the types of social preferences that shape philanthropic giving and to apply this knowledge to both practitioners and policymakers interested in philanthropy and the private provision of public goods.
In July 2017, Ryan Rholes, a third-year doctoral student, attended the 2017 BLEESS Experimental Macroeconomics School hosted at Stony Brook University in New York.
The School is an annual five-day event that focuses on training students and young professors in the field of experimental macroeconomics. A large part of the School is comprised of lectures given throughout the week by noteworthy economists who are currently pushing to expand influence of macroeconomic experiments. Attendees were also split into groups (according to self-reported research interests) and provided with time each day to develop a research idea. The idea was presented on the last day of the workshop.
In August 2017, Billur Aksoy, a fifth-year doctoral student, participated in the “PhD Workshop in Behavioral and Experimental Economics” in Lofoten Islands, Norway. The workshop was organized by the Choice Lab at the Norwegian School of Economics. Open by invitation only, workshop attendees presented and discussed their research with senior researchers and fostered new networks and research collaborations. The workshop was followed by the “68 Degrees North Conference on Behavioral Economics.”
In June 2017, Billur Aksoy, a fifth-year experimental economics PhD student, participated in the seventh biennial Social Dilemmas Working Group. The workshop was hosted by the Cleve E. Willis Lab at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Billur presented her research to the group and received invaluable feedback.
The Social Dilemmas Working Group emphasizes using multiple methods (including formal theory; laboratory, field and survey experiments; agent-based modeling; and observational data) and multidisciplinary views. This aids in developing theoretical foundations of behavior in social dilemmas; it also brings together researchers who are interested in human behavior in social dilemmas.
Way to go, Billur!
On Saturday, March 11, 2017, members of Texas A&M University’s experimental economics group attended and participated in the fourth annual Texas Experimental Association Symposium (TExAS) Meeting. This year’s TExAS Meeting was held at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Presenters and topics from Texas A&M included:
- Mackenzie Alston: “The Silver Lining of Unemployment”
- Noah Bacine: “Overcoming Identity Norms to Break the Glass Ceiling”
- Catherine Eckel and Rick Wilson (Rice University): “Shopping for Trust”
- Wei Zhan: “Discrimination and Identity: Using Dictator Games to Gauge Political Preferences”
Congratulations to all of our presenters!
Ragan Petrie has been awarded the Elton Lewis Faculty Fellowship. The Lewis Fellowship is a competitive award given to a prominent senior scholar in the College, following a nomination and careful review process. The Fellowship provides research support funding.
Mackenzie Alston, a third-year experimental economics PhD student, received the July Teaching Award while participating in the American Economic Association’s (AEA) 2016 Summer Training Program.
Mackenzie taught a “Foundations in Mathematics” course to 15 students from all over the country.
The AEA Summer Training Program aims to provide minority undergraduate students with preparation to successfully complete graduate coursework.
Doctoral students specializing in experimental economics presented at the 2016 Economic Science Association (ESA) Conference. The conference took place from November 19 – 21 in Washington, D.C.
The TAMU presenters and their talks were:
Billur Aksoy: “Uninformed Giving: An Experiment”
Abigail Peralta: “The impact of election fraud on government performance”
Doctoral students specializing in experimental economics presented at the 2016 Economic Science Association (ESA) Conference. The ESA Conference took place from November 10 – 12 in Tucson, AZ.
From October 14 – 15, 2016, the Texas A&M University Department of Economics hosted the 2016 Conference on Methods in Experimental Economic Research (“MEER” Conference).
Experimental economists from all over the county were in attendance, as were a number of TAMU graduate students. The conference was composed of eight talks over the course of the two days:
- Sally Sadoff, University of California at San Diego
- Michael Price, Georgia State University
- Heather Schofield, University of Pennsylvania
- Lucas Coffman, Harvard University
- Nathaniel Higgins, White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team
- Kelsey Jack, Tufts University
- Amanda Agan, Rutgers University
- Andrew Barr, Texas A&M University
The event was funded by a grant from the College of Liberal Arts. The first M.E.E.R. Conference took place in March 2015.