SBEE Seminar Series: Judd B. Kessler

Date: 
Mon, 10/28/2019 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

The Social, Behavioral and Experimental Economics lecture series is sponsored by the School of Information, the Ross School of Business and the Department of Economics. Speakers from U.S. and international universities present their research at weekly seminars during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Note: SBEE Seminars take place from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm. 

Equity Concerns are Narrowly Framed 

Abstract 

We show that individuals narrowly bracket their equity concerns. Across six experiments including 2,360 subjects, individuals equalize components of payoffs rather than overall payoffs. When earnings are comprised of “small tokens” worth 1 cent and “large tokens” worth 2 cents, subjects frequently equalize the distribution of small (or large) tokens rather than equalizing total earnings. When payoffs are comprised of time and money, subjects similarly equalize the distribution of time (or money) rather than total payoffs. In addition, subjects are more likely to equalize time than money. These findings can help explain a variety of behavioral phenomena including the structure of social insurance programs, patterns of public good provision, and why transactions that turn money into time are often deemed repugnant. 

Speaker Bio

Professor Judd B. Kessler received a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University in 2004, an M.Phil. in Economics from Cambridge University in 2005, and his Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University in 2011. In his research, Kessler uses a combination of laboratory and field experiments to answer questions in Public Economics, Behavioral Economics, and Market Design. He investigates the economic and psychological forces that motivate individuals to contribute to public goods inside and outside the workplace, with applications including organ donation, worker effort, and charitable giving. He also investigates market design innovations, placing particular emphasis on bringing market design from theory to practice, with applications including course allocation and priority systems for organ allocation. His research has appeared in general interest journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Management Science. In 2012, Kessler was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30” in Law and Policy.