Sunday, December 10, 2017

Richard Thaler Nobel Lecture

See below for Richard Thaler's Nobel speech. Congratulations to Prof Thaler and thanks to him for his intellectual leadership over the last decades.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Professor Kevin Volpp at NUI Galway


HEPAC Seminar

Speaker: Professor Kevin Volpp, University of Pennsylvania,

Title: Behavioral Economics and Health

Venue: AMB_G065 (Psychology Building)

Time: December 7, 4.30 – 6.00

Kevin Volpp, University of Pennsylvania, is the Janet and John Haas President’s Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Medical Ethics and Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine and Health Care Management at the Wharton School. He is also the founding Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), Vice Chairman for Health Policy for the Department of Medical Ethics and Policy, and Director (with Karen Glanz) of the Penn CDC Prevention Research Center.

Dr. Volpp’s work focuses on developing and testing innovative ways of applying insights from behavioral economics in improving patient health behavior and affecting provider performance. He has done work with a variety of employers, insurers, health systems, and consumer companies in testing the effectiveness of different behavioral economic strategies in addressing tobacco dependence, obesity, and medication non-adherence. He has competitively been awarded more than $60 million to lead or co-lead studies funded by the NIH; the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation; the CDC; VA Health Services Research and Development; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Hewlett Foundation; the Commonwealth Foundation; the Aetna Foundation; Mckinsey; CVS Caremark; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield; Hawaii Medical Services Association; Merck; Humana; Aramark; Weight Watchers; and Discovery (South Africa).

His work earned him the 2015 Matilda White Riley Award, issued by the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). The Matilda White Riley Award is given in recognition of an outstanding behavioral or social scientist whose research has contributed to both the deepening of knowledge and its application in a manner that furthers NIH’s mission of improving health.

See https://hcmg.wharton.upenn.edu/profile/volpp70/ or https://chibe.upenn.edu/ for more details about Kevin’s work. An excellent overview of his work including an interview with Kevin is available at https://obssr.od.nih.gov/kevin-volpps-alchemy-turning-principles-of-behavioral-economics-into-healthier-people/

Professor Volpp is visiting Galway to speak at the MedTech Rising conference that will take place at the Radisson Hotel on December 6 and 7. See http://www.medtechrising.ie/#Agenda for more details.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Assistant Professorships in Economics at UCD

Full details here - Several posts and hiring in all areas.  

Applications are invited for positions as Lecturer\Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Economics. Applicants must have an active research track record and be an effective communicator capable of excellence in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Applications from all fields of Economics are welcomed though priority for one of the positions will be given to applicants with expertise in macroeconomics, financial economics or econometrics.

Note: Representatives of the School of Economics will be available to meet with potential candidates at the ASSA Meetings in Philadelphia over January 5-7, 2018 and at the RES PhD Meetings in London over 19-20 December, 2017. Please contact Professor Karl Whelan, Head of the School of Economics (karl.whelan@ucd.ie) for further information.

95 Lecturer/Assistant Professor above the bar Salary Scale: €51,807 - €79,194 per annum

Appointment will be made on scale and in accordance with the Department of Finance guidelines

Closing Date: 17:00hrs (local Irish Time) on Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Applications must be submitted by the closing date and time specified. Any applications which are still in progress at the closing time of 17:00hrs (Local Irish Time) on the specified closing date will be cancelled automatically by the system. UCD do not accept late applications.

Prior to application, further information (including application procedure) should be obtained from the UCD Job Vacancies website: http://www.ucd.ie/hr/jobvacancies

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

PhD and Postdoctoral Research Areas: Funding and Indicative Projects

Our research group in UCD seeks to recruit PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in the area of behavioural economics. While we will consider applications across a wide range of areas, a particular focus of our work is on the development of naturalistic methods such as experience sampling and day reconstruction in behavioural economics to study real-world decision making. Those interested in conducting a PhD in this area should contact Liam Delaney at Liam.Delaney@ucd.ie. Postdoctoral funding opportunities are currently available through the Irish Research Council, and we also aim to advertise more posts during the upcoming year. Indicative projects are below but we would work with any potential applicant to craft their own application. 


Links to Applications 



IRC Postdoctoral Fellowships - http://research.ie/funding/goipd/


Naturalistic monitoring and behavioural economics

Behavioural economics has identified a multitude of decision making biases and these insights have had a substantial influence on economic theory as well as public policy making. At the same time, researchers in various fields have begun to measure behaviour and experiences in the real world using naturalistic monitoring tools such as experience sampling and the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM). Our research group aims to combine these areas and investigate behavioural economic concepts “in the wild”. This can be done in observational studies, field experiments, or natural experiments. For a description of the DRM click here and here and for a recent application of the method to study self-control click here. Indicative projects using naturalistic monitoring are below.

Indicative Projects 

Self-control and everyday job search

This project uses naturalistic monitoring to better understand the determinants of job search intensity. Since job search has immediate costs and delayed benefits, the project will focus on the economic and psychological literatures on inter-temporal choice and self-control. The project will explore whether low levels of job search are related to self-control problems and identify behavioural interventions that can help job seekers to overcome self-control problems. Additionally, the project will investigate the momentary experiences job seekers feel in their everyday lives and identify situational factors that influence these experiences.

Prospect theory in the wild


Prospect theory is one of the most popular models in behavioural economics. This project uses naturalistic monitoring tools in order to measure whether people use reference points in their everyday lives, and whether negative deviations from these reference points loom larger than positive ones. The project builds on Boyce et al.’s (2013) finding that losses in income have a larger effect on evaluative subjective well-being than equivalent income gains, and tests whether similar patterns can be observed for experienced subjective well-being in everyday life. The project also investigates the effects of loss aversion on decision making in everyday life and tests whether anticipated losses or anticipated regret predict everyday decisions more effectively.

Social preferences in the wild

Humans are social, as economists have learned from experimental settings such as Dictator, Ultimatum, and Public Good Games. This project tests the external validity of these experimental lab measures of social preferences by investigating whether the lab measures correlate with social behaviours in everyday life.

Identity economics in the wild

Many economically relevant decisions are influenced by self-image considerations and thoughts about who we are, which social categories we identify with, and which norms we should adhere to. Akerlof and Kranton (2010) introduce the concept of identity to economics, and this project aims to test how identity considerations shape the experiences and behaviours in peoples’ everyday lives.

Everyday Consumption

This project combines the DRM with a spending diary. The spending diary will provide information about what individuals spend money for and the DRM will help to understand why people spend the money. For example, the project can test whether online shopping is particularly prevalent when individuals are tired and exhausted as has been shown in laboratory experiments before. The project will map subjective preferences to consumption decisions and investigate differences in this mapping across the socio-economic spectrum.

Sustainable travel mode choices

The transport choices people make in their everyday lives are an important contributor to individual quality of life as well as an important influence on the global climate. Behavioural economics and happiness research suggest that many situational factors can affect peoples’ decisions to take the car, bus, train, bike, or other forms of transport. This project will develop and evaluate behaviourally-informed policy interventions that aim to facilitate sustainable travel mode choices.

The effects of smartphones on decision making in everyday life


Smartphones have become an essential part of our everyday lives, and recent research has explored the associations between smartphone use and momentary subjective well-being. This project aims to explain the high use of smartphones using behavioural economics concepts (e.g. visceral influences, self-control, social preferences) and identify the consequences of smartphone use for everyday decision making. The project will test whether the well-being effects of tech and social media use are moderated by the various decision-making styles.

The everyday effects of work email policies


Many companies strongly encourage employees not to send emails after work hours and remove moral obligations to respond to messages during free time. This project’s aim is to implement a randomised control trial on email-out-of-work policies. Building on the literature examining links between email, social media usage, well-being, and employee productivity, this project will explore the extent to which email-out-of-work policies influence time-use and subjective well-being. The project focuses on effect on stress, intensity within working time, and other compensating behaviours, and tests whether email-out-of-work policies are particularly beneficial for people with poor self-control.

The effect on alcohol display restrictions (“Booze curtains”)

In 2018, restrictions on alcohol displays will be implemented in Ireland. This policy aims to reduce the temptation and social pressure to consume alcohol by installing screens in front of the alcohol displays, informally known as “booze curtains”, in all retail outlets selling alcohol. This project evaluates this policy. The project uses naturalistic monitoring in order to evaluate this policy. In particular, we focus on the role of self-control and test whether the policy is particularly beneficial for people with poor self-control.

Medical adherence in everyday life

A major problem in most health systems is that people – despite their better intentions – do not take their medicine when they should. Not adhering to one’s prescriptions has increased the financial and health costs of medication. Using naturalistic measurement, we will identify the feelings, desires, and thoughts that predict medical (non-)adherence.

The validity of the DRM as a tool to measure everyday decision making

This project aims to test the validity of the DRM by comparing DRM data to equivalent experience sampling (mobile phone) data and identifying whether the reports from DRM match reports taken from real-time tracking. The project will also conduct detailed cognitive testing across all phases of the DRM to develop and improve the method. The project will generate a document that will facilitate the adaptation of the method by other researchers.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

IRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

Please see details on this this link of postdoctoral fellowships funded by the Irish government. The deadline is the end of November. We are happy to speak to people interested in pursuing postdoctoral work in the area of behavioural science and behavioural economics.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

ODI Fellowship Scheme

See below from the ODI. 

Dear Professor Delaney,

The ODI Fellowship Scheme has been sending young postgraduate economists (and, as of 2014, statisticians) to work in the public sectors of developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific on two-year contracts since 1963. Providing an excellent opportunity to develop skills and gain experience working within a developing country's government, the application process for the 2018-2020 Fellowship Scheme is now open. Students are advised to apply before 1 December 2017 for a chance to be part of the ODI Fellowship Scheme. The Scheme is open to candidates of all nationalities.

Essential criteria:
  • degree in economics, statistics or a related field
  • postgraduate degree qualification*
  • ability to commit to a two-year assignment
* For those studying for a postgraduate degree at the time of application, the award of a Fellowship will be conditional upon the successful completion of their degree.

Salary is c. £21,000 p.a. (£23,000 in the second year) plus an accommodation allowance. Start date is September/October 2018.

As well as the usual candidates, this year the Scheme is looking to attract PhD candidates able to work in the research departments of central banks, candidates with at least three years of uninterrupted work experience for a post in the Royal Monetary Authority in Bhutan, and candidates with deeper knowledge of mining finance for a post in Eritrea.

Application is via the online application form: https://jobs.odi.org.uk/VacancyInformation.aspx?VId=28151  

To read some first-hand experiences of recent Fellows, please see the following page: https://www.odi.org/fellowship-scheme/experiences

Our latest booklet is available to view or download: https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi_fellowship_scheme_2018.pdf

We can also mail out hard copies of our booklet on request. 

Best,

Darren

Darren Lomas
Programme Officer

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

BEHAVE: Behaviour Change and Climate Change, Future Earth Ireland event, Royal Irish Academy, November 17th 10.45am

See below from Professor Anna Davies from Trinity College Dublin: 

Future Earth Ireland are pleased to invite you to our annual event at the Royal Irish Academy on Friday November 17th at 10.45am

This year we are focusing on the important issue of behaviour change and climate change with an exciting line-up of international speakers and national leaders in behaviour change.

The event is free of charge but places are limited. Register for the event here:https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/behaviour-change-for-climate-change-tickets-39324387301

Future Earth Ireland is the National Committee of the global programme Future Earth:

Future Earth is a major international research platform providing the knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. Launched in 2015, Future Earth is a 10-year initiative to advance Global Sustainability Science, build capacity in this rapidly expanding area of research and provide an international research agenda to guide natural and social scientists working around the world. But it is also a platform for international engagement to ensure that knowledge is generated in partnership with society and users of science. We are closely engaged in international processes such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and climate and biodiversity agreements (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and theConvention on Biological Diversity).

Queries should be directed to info@ria.ie

Best wishes

Anna