Faculty Research

Max Bazerman is the Jesse Isidor Straus Professor at the Harvard Business School.

Max's research focuses on decision making, negotiation, and ethics. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of twenty books (including The Power of Noticing, Simon and Schuster, 2014; and Blind Spots [with Ann Tenbrunsel], Princeton University Press, 2011) and over 200 research articles and chapters. He is a member of the editorial boards of the American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Management and Governance, Mind and Society, Negotiations and Conflict Management Research, Psychological and Personality Science, and The Journal of Behavioral Finance. Also, he is a member of the international advisory board of the Negotiation Journal.

Max’s awards include a 2006 honorary doctorate from the University of London (London Business School), the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aspen Institute, and being named as one of Ethisphere's 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics. Max’s research focuses on ethics, decision making, negotiation, and the connection of these topics to policy.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Use research on “signing first” to increase honesty in reporting on government forms, such as tax returns (Shu, L., Mazar, N., Gino, F., Ariely, D., and Bazerman, M. Signing at the beginning makes ethics salient and decreases dishonest self-reports in comparison to signing at the end. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109: 38, 15197-15200).

2) Using joint evaluation to increase ethicality in government decision making (e.g., reducing discrimination).  Laboratory experiment working paper available (Bohnet, I., van Geen, A., and Bazerman, M.).

John Beshears is the Terrie F. and Bradley M. Bloom Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. His primary research area is behavioral economics, the field that combines insights from psychology and economics to understand individual decision making and market outcomes. John's work has a particular focus on understanding how the financial decisions of households and firms are influenced by the institutional environment in which choices are made. In recent work, he has studied participation in retirement savings plans, household investment decisions, and health-care choices.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Working with financial institutions to help their customers make wiser spending and saving decisions.

2) Working with gyms to help their customers exercise more regularly.

Sara Bleich is a Professor of Public Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. Her scholarship lies at the nexus of health policy and health services research. Her research provides evidence to support policy alternatives for obesity prevention and control, particularly among populations at higher risk for obesity. This work is composed of three complementary streams of inquiry: 1) pathways for change in major drivers of calorie intake, 2) health provider opportunities to improve obesity care, and 3) novel environmental strategies for obesity prevention. Sara is the past recipient of an award for “most outstanding abstract” at the International Conference on Obesity in Sydney, Australia, an award for “best research manuscript” in the journal Obesity, and an award for excellence in public interest communication from the Frank Conference. Sara was recently appointed as a White House Fellow (2015-2016) where she was a Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative. She holds degrees from Columbia (BA, Psychology) and Harvard (PhD, Health Policy).

Active field experimental interests:

1) Evaluating the impact of the Philadelphia beverage tax on food retailer prices and consumer purchases.

2) Understanding the impact of easily understandable calorie information on consumer purchases of snacks and sugary beverages.

Iris Bohnetthe Roy E. Larsen Professor of Public Policy, is the Academic Dean of Harvard Kennedy School. She is a behavioral economist, combining insights from economics and psychology to improve decision-making in organizations and society, often with a gender or cross-cultural perspective. Her most recent research examines behavioral design to de-bias how we live, learn and work. She is the author of the award-winning book What Works: Gender Equality by Design, (an example of a book talk can be viewed HERE) and advises governments and companies on the topic around the world. Professor Bohnet is the co-director of the Women and Public Policy Program and the faculty chair of the executive program “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century” for the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. She serves on the boards or advisory boards of Credit Suisse Group, Applied, Edge, genEquality, We Shape Tech, and the UK Government’s Equalities Office as well as numerous academic journals. She was named one of the Most Influential People in Gender Policy by apolitical in 2018, a Leading Thinker of Victoria, Australia, 2016-2019, and has received an honorary degree from the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, in 2016. She is married and the mother of two children.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Through a developer collaboration, this project will (1) validate a library of job ad words coded feminine, masculine, or neutral; (2) use the library tool to de-bias job ads in public and private sectors.

2) This tech workplace study will include assessment using interviews, focus groups, and observations to identify systemic barriers to full inclusion, as well as implement experimental interventions to overcome these barriers.

3) Through a developer collaboration, this project will test whether objective performance information (i.e., code quality scoring) can reduce gender bias in coding interview evaluation.

Alison Wood Brooks is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at the Harvard Business School. Professor Brooks' research focuses on how emotions influence cognition and behavior, particularly in the workplace. Much of her research examines the behavioral consequences of state anxiety, and how individuals can regulate their anxious feelings. Her research has been published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and her work has been featured in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, National Public Radio, Business Insider, and U.S. News and World Report.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Conducting research on entrepreneurial pitches to explore which aspects of entrepreneurs (e.g., gender) and their ventures (e.g., target customers) are most persuasive with investors (Brooks, A.W., Huang, L., Murray, F., & Kearney, S.W. Entrepreneurial attraction: Investors prefer entrepreneurial ventures pitched by attractive men).

2) Examining the amount and diversity of emotional expression on Facebook and how it relates to life satisfaction around the world (Kogan, A., Zhang, F., Sun, R., Simon-Thomas, E., Piff, P., Fan, S., Gruber, J., Quoidbach, J., Norton, M.I., Gronin, C., Fleming, P., Keltner, D., Brooks, A.W. Amount and diversity of emotional expression on Facebook predicts life satisfaction around the world).

3) Investigating people’s propensity to ask questions (or not) and how question-asking relates to information exchange and interpersonal perception. (Brooks, A.W., Huang, K., Minson, J. Why don’t people ask more questions? Question-asking promotes information exchange and improves interpersonal perception).

Ryan W. Buell is an assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School. He teaches Managing Service Operations in the MBA elective curriculum and in Executive Education programs at the School. He has also taught the Technology and Operations Management course in the MBA required curriculum.

Professor Buell’s research investigates the interactions between service businesses and their customers, and how operational choices affect customer behaviors and firm performance.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Explore how operational transparency, how operations are revealed to customers, shapes their perceptions and behaviors, and in turn, firm performance.

2) Determine how to quantify the performance benefits of customer compatibility, identify its determinants, and understand how firms can improve it.

Katherine Coffman is an Assistant Professor in the Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 2012. She also holds a BA in Economics and Mathematics from Williams College. Her research uses experimental methods to study individual and group decision-making with a focus on gender issues. She has explored how gender differences impact the efficiency of outcomes in economically important contexts, including standardized testing, team and committee work, and labor markets.

1) Examining gender differences in willingness to guess.

2) Looking at the effect of self-stereotyping on willingness to contribute ideas.

Jessica Lee Cohen is Associate Professor of Global Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, Affiliated Professor at the Jameel-Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Burke Fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute. Her research applies the methods of program design, randomized trials, and impact evaluation to maternal and child health programs and policies in sub-Saharan Africa. She has worked on a number of field trials in Africa related to prevention, treatment and diagnosis of malaria, technology adoption, messaging and behavior change and pharmaceutical supply chains. Dr. Cohen’s work has been referenced in major national and international publications, including the The Economist, the Boston Globe, New York Times and Nature. She is a member of the WHO Global Malaria Program’s Technical Expert Group on Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation, has advised the government of Zanzibar on its malaria control program and the Canadian International Development Agency on its child survival programs.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Exploring how perceptions of malaria risk influence malaria treatment seeking and prevention.

2) Researching new approaches to increasing demand for high quality maternal care in Kenya.

Ryan D. Enos is an Assistant Professor of government and a faculty associate of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. He specializes in American politics with an emphasis on political psychology, the politics of race & identity, and voting behavior. His research focuses on how voting and other political behavior is affected by the context and contact with other groups and designs experiments in the interest of promoting intergroup harmony. His current primary interest is in the effect of residential racial segregation on attitudes, voter choice, and participation. He earned his A.B. in political science and history from U.C. Berkeley and his MA and Ph.D. in political science from UCLA. Before entering academia, he was a teacher at Paul Robeson High School in Chicago, IL.

Active field experimental interests:

1) How can infrastructure affect inter-ethnic harmony? (Enos, Ryan D. 2014. “The causal effect of intergroup contact on exclusionary attitudes”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (10).)

2) Assessing the efficacy of voter participation programs for reducing inequality.  (Enos, Ryan D., Anthony Fowler, and Lynn Vavreck. 2014. “Increasing Inequality: The Effect of GOTV Mobilization on the Composition of the Electorate”, Journal of Politics 76 (1), pp 273-288.)

Christine Exley is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit. Her research explores how behavioral motivations often have nuanced implications in the realm of prosocial behavior, with a particular focus on charitable giving and volunteer decisions. In testing these motivations via both laboratory and field experiments, her work highlights how giving decisions often respond to image motivations, incentives, norms, reference points, and the availability of excuses.

She also has experience in applying economic principles to promote change: to combat inefficiency in the pet adoption market and help dogs find homes, she co-founded an online startup, www.wagaroo.com.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Exploring how individuals may exploit excuses to avoid a variety of actions, such as giving to charities or saving for retirement, or to engage in certain actions, such as discrimination or procrastination (Exley, Christine. “Excusing Selfishness in Charitable Giving: The Role of Risk.” Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming).

2) Testing policies, including those related to information or the structure of decisions, as to how to encourage giving and/or limit excuses (Exley, Christine “Incentives for Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Reputations; Exley, Christine and Ragan Petrie. “Finding Excuses to Decline the Ask: A Field Experiment”)

3) Considering how gender may influence negotiations or entrance decision (Exley, Christine, Muriel Niederle and Lise Vesterlund. “Knowing when to Ask the Cost of Leaning In”).

4) Investigate differences between volunteer behavior and charitable giving, including the difference in willingness to ask people to give time versus money.

David Gergen is a senior political analyst for CNN and has served as an adviser to four U.S. presidents. He is a public service professor of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and the director of its Center for Public Leadership. In 2000, he published the best-selling book, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton. Gergen joined the Nixon White House in 1971, as a staff assistant on the speech writing team, a group of heavyweights that included Pat Buchanan, Ben Stein, and Bill Safire. Gergen went on to work in the administration of Gerald Ford and as an adviser to the 1980 George H.W. Bush presidential campaign. He served as Director of Communications for Ronald Reagan and as adviser to Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Warren Christopher on domestic and foreign affairs. Gergen joined the Harvard faculty in 1999. He is active as a speaker on leadership and sits on many boards, including Teach for America, the Aspen Institute, and Duke University, where he taught from 1995-1999. He is a member of the Washington D.C. Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds 19 honorary degrees.

Francesca Gino is Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. She is also formally affiliated with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative at Harvard, and the Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative also at Harvard. She teaches Decision Making and Negotiation in the MBA elective curriculum and in Executive Education programs at the School. She also co-teaches a Ph.D. course on Behavioral Approaches to Decision Making and a Ph.D. course on Experimental Methods. Her research focuses on judgment and decision-making, negotiation, ethics, motivation, productivity, and creativity. Her work has been published in academic journals in both psychology and management including the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Cognition, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Management Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Psychological Science, as well as in numerous book chapters and practitioner outlets.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Use research on “signing first” to increase honesty in reporting on government forms, such as tax returns (Shu, L., Mazar, N., Gino, F., Ariely, D., and Bazerman, M. Signing at the beginning makes ethics salient and decreases dishonest self-reports in comparison to signing at the end. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109: 38, 15197-15200).

2) Examining imperfections of human judgment and decision-making and tracing their consequences for individual, group, and organizational outcomes, such as when and why people overweight bad advice, and when and why they discount good recommendations.

3) Looking at how and why individuals engage in unethical behavior, and how to reduce the attractiveness of unethical misconduct.

4) Investigating why people feel disengaged at work and how to increase engagement and learning (e.g., through reflection or feedback).

5) Examining how different incentives schemes and types of incentives help people reach health related goals and form habits.

6) Using research on authenticity and self-expression to increase minority students’ well-being and academic performance (Cable, D. M., Gino, F., & Staats, B. (2013). Breaking them in or eliciting their best? Reframing socialization around newcomers’ authentic self-expression. Administrative Science Quarterly, 58(1), 1-36.)

James Greiner is currently Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School, where he teaches courses on civil procedure, expert witnesses, and voting regulation. Before coming to the law school in 2007, Jim completed his Ph.D. in statistics at Harvard University. Prior to this, Jim practiced law for six years, three for the Department of Justice (Programs Branch), three for Jenner & Block. Currently, Jim's research focuses on statistics and litigation, including ecological inference models often used in cases under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act as well as the application of counterfactual frameworks of causation to civil rights issues. His current projects concern redistricting, election administration, causal inference, evaluation of delivery of legal services, and adjudicative system design.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Examining the effect of offers of law student representation in Social Security Disability proceedings as opposed to receiving other forms of assistance (such as a pro se assistance packet, a list of names and telephone numbers of other attorneys who might take their cases, and offers to transfer information gained during intake to any new representative) (Greiner, D. J., Wolos Pattanayak, C., McCormack, J.).

2) Researching the effect of offers of pro bono representations in divorce divided into two forms of legal assistance: in one group, attorney representation for the potential client’s divorce matter; in another, a staff attorney providing telephone assistance and advice via phone, assistance (if requested) in filling out court forms, and a referral to the Philadelphia Bar’s Modest Means Program (Greiner, D. J., Wolos Pattanayak, C.).

3) Comparing satisfaction rates between State of Nevada prison inmates who file civil rights cases and engage in a half-day session with a volunteer, court-appointed mediator during a 90-day court-ordered stay of the litigation, and those who receive a court order strongly encouraging them to engage in informal settlement negotiations during a 90-day court-ordered stay.

4)  Examining what kinds of mailings will induce defendants sued in debt collection proceedings to file relevant legal papers and to attend court.

Brian J. Hall is Albert H. Gordon Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School where he is the Head of the Negotiation, Organizations and Markets (NOM) Unit and a faculty affiliate of the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. Previously, he was an assistant professor of economics in the Harvard Economics Department. Professor Hall received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard and holds an M.Phil. in economics from Cambridge University. He served on the staff of the President’s Council of Economics Advisers in 1990-91. Previously, Professor Hall served as Executive Vice President and later, Acting CEO, of Alghanim Industries, one of the largest multi-business companies in the Middle East with over 12,000 employees in 30 countries.

Active field experimental interests:     

1) Mitigating envy of successful others by revealing their failures (Huang, K., Wood Brooks, A., Buell, R.W., and Hall, B.).               

Reshmaan Hussam is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Business, Government and International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School, teaching the Business, Government and International Economy course to MBA students. Her research explores questions at the intersection of development, behavioral, and health economics. Considering the puzzle of the ubiquitously low adoption of many low cost, high return goods, behaviors, and technologies in the developing world, she explores the role of learning and habit formation in sustained behavioral change. She also examines how to utilize community information to optimally allocate capital to microentrepreneurs as well as how digitization of financial services impacts financial inclusion in resource-poor settings.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Disentangling the role of learning vs. habit formation in adoption and persistence of new behaviors and technologies (using the context of preventive health behaviors in the developing world).

2) Examining the effects of the digitization of financial infrastructure (bank accounts and mobile banking) on the financial inclusion of poor and/or vulnerable populations in South Asia.

Michael J. Hiscox is the Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University.  His research focuses on international trade and immigration policy, economic development, corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives, and policies addressing economic, social, and public health issues in several countries. He has written two books and numerous articles for leading scholarly journals. Working with governments, non-profit organizations, and corporations, he has conducted randomized trials to evaluate a range of government policies and programs in the United States, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Evaluating the impacts of certification standards (such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance) and farmer training programs on incomes, productivity, farming practices, and household health in farming communities in West Africa and Indonesia.

2) Examining concerns among individuals about ethical and environmental impacts of business activities and how these concerns influence consumption and employment decisions, using randomized trials to assess consumer responses to product labeling and how employees respond to corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives.

3) Studying government programs designed to assist immigrants and their impacts on integration, employment, and reliance on welfare.

Leslie John is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations, & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School, where she teaches the Marketing course in the M.B.A. required curriculum. Professor John’s research centers on how consumers’ behavior and lives are influenced by their interaction with firms and with public policy. Her work has been published in academic journals including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and The Journal of the American Medical Association. It has also received media attention from outlets such as The New York Times, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Examine why and in what situations consumers are willing to divulge sensitive personal information, and developing ways to deal with personal information that are beneficial to firms and consumers alike.

2) Researching how to exploit people’s decision biases, such as overconfidence and aversion to financial loss, to help them adopt more healthy behaviors.

3) Studying dishonesty in the workplace and its lack of relation to rational, cost-benefit analysis.

Ichiro Kawachi, MB.Ch.B., Ph.D., is John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Social Epidemiology, and Chair of the Social & Behavioral Sciences Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  His work focuses on the social and behavioral determinants of population heath and health disparities. He teaches a class at the Harvard School of Public Health based off his recent textbook “Behavioral Economics & Public Health” (Oxford University Press: 2016, with Christina Roberto). He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences.
Active field experiment studies:
1) Examining disaster resilience in the aftermath of the 2011 East Japan earthquake & tsunami, including the impacts of housing/property destruction on the “psychology of scarcity”, e.g. beta-discounting (in collaboration with Yasuyuki Sawada at Tokyo University).

2) Testing the emotion-imbued choice model on graphic cigarette warning labels and smoking behavior  (in collaboration with Jennifer Lerner & Vaughan Rees). 

Elizabeth Keenan is an assistant professor of business administration in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Keenan’s research focuses on barriers to and motivators of prosocial behavior, using a combination of field, laboratory, and online experimental methods. Her recent work investigates donors’ aversion to overhead spending by nonprofits, including its negative effects on the choice to give. A subset of Professor Keenan’s research focuses on topics related to environmental sustainability, including drivers of green product choice, hotel towel reuse, and the underlying psychological processes involved in climate-change-related judgments. Her research has been published in Science, the Journal of Consumer Research, and Nature Climate Change.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Exploring donors’ aversion to overhead spending by nonprofits and ways to overcome the aversion.

2) Investigating the effectiveness of prosocial incentives in real world contexts.

3) Examining drivers of eco-friendly choices and behaviors.

David Laibson is the Robert I. Goldman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Laibson is also a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is Research Associate in the Asset Pricing, Economic Fluctuations, and Aging Working Groups. Laibson’s research focuses on the topic of behavioral economics, and he leads Harvard University’s Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative.  Laibson serves on several editorial boards, as well as the boards of the Health and Retirement Study (National Institutes of Health) and the Pension Research Council (Wharton).  He serves on Harvard’s Pension Investment Committee. He is also serves on the Academic Research Council of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

Active field experimental interests:

1) Studying the effects of planning prompts, at no additional cost and without restricting choice, on increasing follow-through on unpleasant and temporally distant health behaviors like colonoscopies.

2) Looking at how different methods increase or decrease household savings decisions, such as whether commitment contracts and easy escalation incentives increase individual savings rates.

3) Examining behavior around investment decisions, such as how frequency of feedback about investment returns affects high-risk investment decisions, as well as who invests in 401(k) plans, and how they use them.

Jennifer Lerner is Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and is the first psychological scientist in the history of the Harvard Kennedy School to receive tenure. She is also Co-Founder of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory and Steering-Committee Member of Harvard’s Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative. Her work combines psychology, economics, and neuroscience to research human judgment and decision-making.  Along with colleagues, she developed a theoretical framework that successfully predicts the effects of specific emotions on specific judgment and choice outcomes.  Applied widely, this framework has been particularly useful in predicting emotion effects on perceptions of risk, economic decisions, and attributions of responsibility. Across all areas, her work aims to increase the evidentiary base for designing public policies that maximize human wellbeing.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Examining mechanisms through which accountability and other authority systems shape judgment and choice outcomes.

2) Investigating causes and consequences of stress.  Her work with colleagues has, for example, revealed pathways through which bio-behavioral factors (e.g., testosterone, cortisol, and anxiety) predict stress and leadership rank among government, military, and corporate professionals. 

3) Testing the emotion-imbued choice model on graphic cigarette warning labels and smoking behavior (in collaboration with Ichiro Kawachi & Vaughan Rees).

Bridget Terry Long is the Academic Dean and Xander Professor of Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Long is an economist who specializes in the study of education, in particular the transition from high school to higher education and beyond. Her work focuses on college student access and choice and the factors that influence students’ postsecondary and labor market outcomes. Long received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the Harvard University Department of Economics and her A.B. from Princeton University. She is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a Research Affiliate of the National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR), and a Research Affiliate with the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE). In July 2005, The Chronicle of Higher Education featured her as one of the “New Voices” in higher education and, in 2008, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) awarded her the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for excellence in research and published works on student financial assistance. In 2010, Long was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a member of the National Board of Education Sciences, the advisory panel of the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. She was elected Vice Chair of the Board in November 2010 and Chair in October 2011.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Examining the roles of information and assistance in college savings, the completion of aid applications, and college enrollment.

2) Examining the effects of financial aid programs, the impact of postsecondary remediation, and the role of college inputs on student outcomes.

Michael Luca is an assistant professor of business administration in the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets Unit of Harvard Business School. He teaches the Negotiations course in the MBA elective curriculum. Professor Luca applies econometric methods to field data in order to study the impact of information in market settings. He investigates the types and features of information disclosure that are most effective, the way in which information disclosure is produced and designed, and how these phenomena affect market structure. In his research, Professor Luca considers rankings, expert reviews, online consumer reviews, and quality disclosure laws.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Using crowd-sourcing platforms (such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and AngiesList) to determine the impact of consumer reviews, the quality of the information, and ways to improve the design of such platforms. Included in this research are methods to improve public policy; for instance, incorporating “Score on Door” health grades in Yelp interface to determine impact of available health code information on website users.

2) Examining the ways in which the presentation of college rankings (such as the list-style ranking of U.S. News & World Report) affects reader understanding and application of provided educational information.

3) Testing for racial discrimination against landlords in the online rental marketplaces based on available user photos.

Brigitte Madrian is the Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management at the Harvard Kennedy School. Before coming to Harvard in 2006, she was on the Faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School (2003-2006), the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (1995-2003) and the Harvard University Economics Department (1993-1995). She is also a research associate and co-director of the Household Finance working group at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Madrian's current research focuses on household saving and investment behavior. Her work in this area has impacted the design of employer-sponsored savings plans in the U.S. and has influenced pension reform legislation both in the U.S. and abroad. She has also examined the impact of health insurance on the job choice and retirement decisions of employees and the hiring decisions of firms.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Evaluating the impact of interventions to improve retirement savings outcomes (too many cites to list)

2) Evaluating the impact of cost-effect and scalable interventions to improve health outcomes such as medication adherence and vaccination rates.

3) Evaluating the effect of financial literacy on financial education and financial outcomes (Madrian, B., Hastings, J., Skimmyhorn, W., Financial Literacy, Financial Education, and Economic Outcomes, Annual Review of Economics).

4) Comparing behaviors of individuals enrolled in two different health plans to determine whether plan cost affects cost-saving health behaviors, as well as individual understanding of health plans (Lowenstein, G., Friedman,  J., McGill, B., Ahmad, S., Linck, S., Sinkula, S., Beshears, J., Choi, J., Kolstad, J., Laibson, D., Madrian, B., List, J., Volpp, K., Consumers’ misunderstanding of health insurance, Journal of Health Economics).

Margaret McConnell is Assistant Professor of Global Health Economics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her current research combines behavioral economics with field and laboratory experiments to understand and evaluate policies designed to change health and savings behavior. She is currently working on a number of field trials in Africa and Latin America on maternal health, decisions about family planning, allocating nutritional resources toward children and forming habits of mobile money use.  

Active field experimental interests:

1) Researching the effect of cash transfers on incentivizing early selection of a delivery hospital in urban Nairobi.

2) Researching the effect of free vouchers for post-partum family planning with deadlines on the uptake of these services in urban Nairobi.

3) Examining how physician decision-making, such as talking with patients about medication adherence and ordering tests in the ER, are influenced by elements of the choice environment.

Julia Minson is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is a social psychologist with research interests in group judgment and decision-making, negotiations, and social influence. Her primary line of research addresses psychological biases that prevent managers, consumers, and policy-makers from gaining maximum value from collaboration. She also studies the conditions that make people willing to listen and be receptive to views and opinions they strongly oppose. Her most recent work deals with structuring group interaction to maximize decision-making effectiveness.

Active field study interests:

1) Researching collaborative judgment, including the biases that prevent individuals from maximizing the benefits of collaboration, and lead to wasted time, effort, and judgment error.

2) Testing interventions to make people more open to opposing views, even in contexts when attitudes are unlikely to change substantially or even at all, such as in cases of deep-seated ideological conflict (Minson, J., Chen, F., Monin, B., Tormala, Z.).

3) Researching the manner in which questions affect social outcomes including negotiation, persuasion, and decision-making contexts (Minson, J., Ruedy, N., Schweitzer, M.).

Michael I. Norton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, and co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and English from Williams and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton. Prior to joining HBS, Professor Norton was a Fellow at the MIT Media Lab and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. His work has been published in a number of leading academic journals, including Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and the Annual Review of Psychology, and has been covered in media outlets such as the Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. His research has twice been featured in the New York Times Magazine Year in Ideas issue, in 2007 (Ambiguity Promotes Liking) and 2009 (The Counterfeit Self). His “The IKEA Effect: When Labor Leads to Love” was featured in Harvard Business Review‘s Breakthrough Ideas for 2009. In 2012 he was named on Wired Magazine’s Smart List as one of 50 People Who Will Change the World.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Understanding how increased knowledge about current levels of wealth and health inequality affects political attitudes and policy preferences (Norton and Ariely, 2011).

2) Designing interventions to increase citizens’ engagement with and trust in government, including making government more transparent and giving citizens a voice in taxation (Buell and Norton, 2013).

3) Pairing for-profit and non-profit organizations to demonstrate when and why philanthropic activities increase customer and employee satisfaction (Anik, Aknin, Norton, Dunn, and Quoidbach, 2013).

Devah Pager (In Memoriam) was the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Her research focuseed on institutions affecting racial stratification, including education, labor markets, and the criminal justice system. Pager's research involved a series of field experiments studying discrimination against minorities and ex-offenders in the low-wage labor market. Her book, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (University of Chicago, 2007), investigates the racial and economic consequences of large scale imprisonment for contemporary U.S. labor markets. Her most recent research examined the longer-term consequences of labor market discrimination for job seekers and employers. Pager held master's degrees from Stanford University and the University of Cape Town, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Field experimental interests included:

1) Studying discrimination against minorities and ex-offenders in the low-wage labor market.

2) Investigating the racial and economic consequences of large scale imprisonment for contemporary U.S. labor markets.

Matthew Rabin is the Pershing Square Professor of Behavioral Economics in the Harvard Economics Department and Harvard Business School. Before that, he spent 25 years at the wonderful University of California, Berkeley Economics Department.  His research focuses primarily on incorporating psychologically more realistic assumptions into empirically applicable formal economic theory. His current topics of interest include errors in statistical reasoning and the evolution of beliefs, effects of choice context on exhibited preferences, reference-dependent preferences, and errors people make in inference in market and learning settings. He received his PhD from MIT in 1989, the same year he joined the Berkeley faculty as an assistant professor. He is a member of the Russell Sage Foundation Behavioral Economics Roundtable and co-organizer of the Russell Sage Summer Institute in Behavioral Economics. He has been a visiting professor at MIT, London School of Economics, Northwestern, Harvard, and Cal Tech, as well as a visiting scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (at Stanford) and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Gautam Rao received his Ph.D. in Economics from UC Berkeley in 2014, and is presently a post-doctoral research fellow at Microsoft Research Labs, New England. He will begin an appointment as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at Harvard in July 2015. Gautam's research brings insights from psychology to bear on topics in economics, particularly topics relevant to developing countries. Recent projects include studying how mixing rich and poor students in schools in India affects social preferences and behaviors, how citizens are motivated to vote by social image concerns, and how innovative financial contracts can help patients with hypertension overcome their self-control problems in rural India. In addition to working in behavioral and development economics, he has secondary interests in political and labor economics.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Identify how mixing rich and poor students in schools affects social preferences and behaviors.

2) Use field experiments to determine contradictory findings between genders in social preferences for giving and participation.

3) Using a field experiment to estimate the effect of social image concerns on voting.

Todd Rogers is Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Faculty Director of the Behavioral Insights Group at the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School. He is a behavioral scientist whose work bridges the gap between intention and action. His current work develops behavioral science inspired interventions to improve educational achievement.  Prior to joining the faculty at HKS he was founding Executive Director of the Analyst Institute, LLC, which uses randomized field experiments and behavioral science insights to understand and improve voter communication program. Todd is a Senior Researcher with the think tank ideas42. Todd was named a Rising Star by Politics Magazine for his work in the 2008 election cycle, and a 40 under 40 award winner by New Leaders Council for leadership in politics. He received his Ph.D. jointly from Harvard's department of Psychology and Harvard Business School, and received his B.A. from Williams College where he majored in Religion and Psychology.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Understanding the barriers to mobilizing and empowering parental involvement in K-12, and social support in college.  This work is happening in K-12 schools and districts, online universities, community colleges, and MOOCs.

2) Developing classroom-based interventions to increase student attention, persistence, effort, and performance.  This work is happening in K-12 charter and public schools, and universities.

Shelle Santana is an assistant professor of business administration in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School, where she teaches the core Marketing course to first-year MBA students. Professor Santana’s work has been published in the Journal of Retailing, and she co-authored “Consumer Financial Protection Legislation” in Regulating Wall Street: The Dodd-Frank Act and the New Architecture of Global Finance.

Before pursuing her academic career, she held a variety of senior marketing roles at American Express Company, ultimately as head of U.S. corporate card marketing and global product strategy. Professor Santana earned her Ph.D. and M.Phil. in marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She holds an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Professor Santana has two primary research interests: behavioral pricing and the subjective value of money. She is particularly interested in identifying simple interventions that improve consumer decision making and financial outcomes.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Examine how “drip pricing,” where sellers gradually reveal individual price components for a product or service, affects consumers’ current choices and future behavior intentions. Considered in context of increasing global regulations levied against the practice, and whether the laws are likely to have the intended effects.

2) Examine consumers’ subjective value of money—or how people perceive, spend, and save different forms of currency. How consumers value credit card loyalty points relative to cash as a form of currency, whether it varies in any predictable ways, and how these differences affect how people spend loyalty points.

3) Studying the barriers to saving for college and how to get parents to sign up for and make contributions to 529 college savings programs.

Ameet Sarpatwari is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Epidemiologist based in the Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL) in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics. His research draws upon his interdisciplinary training as an epidemiologist and lawyer and focuses on the effects of laws and regulations on therapeutic development, approval, use, and related public health outcomes. Ameet received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was a John L. Thomas Leadership Scholar, and his B.A. from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Assessing the comparative effectiveness of e-academic detailing vs. traditional academic detailing programs on evidence-based pain management practices.

2) Designing, testing, and refining educational messages and materials to optimize generic drug prescribing rates among physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

Joshua Schwartzstein is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit of Harvard Business School. Before joining HBS, he was an assistant professor of economics at Dartmouth. Josh’s primary research area is behavioral economics. He focuses on incorporating more psychologically realistic assumptions into economic models, and in applying those models to shed light on market outcomes and optimal public policy. In recent work he has studied how the recognition that people make mistakes in medical-care decisions affects the analysis of health insurance policies, how relative thinking influences consumer choice, and how selective attention impacts how people learn to use technologies. His research has appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of the European Economic Association, the Annual Review of Economics, and the Journal of Law and Economics. Josh holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University and a B.A. in Behavioral Economics, Economics, and Mathematics from Cornell University.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Understanding how what people notice affects what they learn (e.g., Hanna, R., Mullainathan, S., and Schwartzstein, J.).
2) Examining how the presence of behavioral hazard in medical-care decisions alters predictions about the behavioral and welfare-impact of copays (e.g., Baicker, K., Mullainathan, S., and Schwartzstein, J.).

Cass R. Sunstein is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. Sunstein clerked for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court.  A former attorney-adviser in the Department of Justice, Sunstein served as an informal, occasional adviser to Senator Barack Obama, before joining the first Obama administration. Drawing on state-of-the-art work in behavioral psychology and economics, Sunstein, as administrator of the powerful White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), quietly helped save the nation billions of dollars while preventing thousands of deaths and countless illnesses and accidents. All this was accomplished in part through the extraordinary power of nudges—low-cost, seemingly modest policies that preserve freedom of choice.  His new book, Simpler: The Future of Government was released recently.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Examining the benefits of impersonal default rules vs. active choosing in various public and private institutions (Sunstein, C.R., Impersonal Default Rules vs. Active Choices vs. Personalized Default Rules: A Triptych).

 2) Examining how different psychological factors complicate, and in some cases radically change, the economic predictions regarding laws and regulations that require public disclosure of information (Sunstein, C. R., Loewenstein, G., Golman, R., Disclosure: Psychology Changes Everything).

Anne Thorndike, MD, MPH  is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Her clinical and research interests are in the prevention and treatment of obesity through lifestyle modification.  Her current research focuses on population-based interventions that utilize behavioral economics strategies to promote healthy food choices at worksites and in low-income communities.  Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harvard Catalyst, and the Donaghue Foundation.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Traffic light labels and choice architecture to promote healthy food choices (American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2014;46:143-149).

2) Financial incentives and traffic light labels to promote healthy beverage choices in a low-income, Latino community supermarket.

3) Social norm feedback and financial incentives to promote healthy food choices by employees.

4) A choice architecture intervention in corner stores to increase purchase of fresh produce by customers using WIC benefits.

Ashley V. Whillans is an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School in Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of British Columbia in June 2017. In 2015, she was named a Rising Star of Behavioral Science by the International Behavioral Exchange and the Behavioral Science and Policy Association. In 2016, she co-founded the Department of Behavioral Science in the Policy, Innovation, and Engagement Division of the British Columbia Government. Her research has been published in leading academic outlets, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Making Processes, she has written about her research for numerous popular press outlets including The New York Times and The Washington Post, and her research has been featured by media outlets such as CNN, the Economist, and the Wall Street Journal.

Active field experimental interests:

1) Working with for-profit and non-profit organizations to understand factors that motivate and sustain charitable giving, especially among those with the greatest capacity to give (Whillans, Caruso & Dunn, 2017).

2) Understanding whether, when, and why non-cash rewards, such as time-saving rewards (e.g., vacations, sabbaticals, flex hours) increase job satisfaction and motivation compared to monetary rewards (Whillans, Dunn, Smeets, Bekkers & Norton, in press; Whillans, Weidman & Dunn, 2016).

3) Designing interventions to increase citizen and employee engagement with environmental behaviors, such as recycling and greater engagement in active forms of commuting like cycling and carpooling (Whillans & Dunn, 2015).

4) Collaborating with organizations to understand how workplace culture shapes new employees' perceptions of and their interactions with new peers, with implications for creativity, well-being, and reduced turn-over (Whillans & Chen, 2016; Whillans, Christie, Cheung, Jordan & Chen, in press).

Richard Zeckhauser is the Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Much of his conceptual research examines possibilities for democratic, decentralized allocation procedures. Many of his policy investigations explore ways to promote the health of human beings, to help markets work more effectively, and to foster informed and appropriate choices by individuals and government agencies. He teaches an advanced course in analytic methods, the Ph.D. writing seminar, and chairs the annual executive program on Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance. He has been elected as a fellow of the Econometric Society, of the American Academy of Sciences, and as a member of the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences).  He has been appointed as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association.  He serves as a Trustee for The Commonwealth School and as a member of the NBER, the Russell Sage Roundtable in Behavioral Economics, the Academic Advisory Committee of the American Enterprise Institute, and the OECD High Level Advisory Board on Large-Scale Catastrophes. 

Active field experimental interests:

1) Examining the effect of ignorance rather than uncertainty on public policy, including global warming and national intelligence.

2) Using literary sources to examine possible counters to ignorance (Zeckhauser, R., Roy, D., Ignorance: Lessons from the Laboratory of Literature).

For more information, contact:

Maja Niksic
Program Manager, Behavioral Insights Group
Center for Public Leadership
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Box 143
Cambridge, MA 02138