Research

Working Papers

Designing Weighted and Directed Networks under Complementarities (2019). R&R at the Journal of Economic Theory. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3299331.

Whether to pursue aggregate efficiency or trade off efficiency for equality, optimizing a network of complementarities leads to a hierarchy among agents. Formally, all optimal networks under complementarities are generalized nested split graphs, in which agents are ordered by `link-dominance’.

Resentment and the Evolution of Social Norms Governing Cooperation (January 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3512872.

If people disapprove and punish behaviors that violate common social practices and are harmful to others, then cooperation can be sustained as a self-fulfilling social norm. This assumption leads to long-run dynamics of cooperation and punishment consistent with recent cross-cultural and experimental findings that are difficult to explain by standard evolutionary models of cooperation.

Conditional Punishment: Descriptive Social Norms Drive Negative Reciprocity (April 2020), with Lucas Molleman and Dennie van Dolder. Available here.

We show experimentally that descriptive norms about cooperation and punishment – 1) whether people in a payoff irrelevant reference group cooperate and 2) whether they punish defectors – affect an individual’s punishment of defectors.

Work in Progress

Lying and Naivety in Multi-player Cheap Talk, with Daniele Nosenzo.

When several senders talk simultaneously to a receiver, lying costs change truth-telling between senders from strategic substitutes to strategic complements. Also, because of the receiver’s naivety, the lies of a sender affect the lies of another sender.

The Market for Lemons and Liars, with Valeria Burdea.

Can intrinsic preferences for truth-telling solve the problem of adverse selection? No, because there is self-selection: people with different preferences for truth-telling participate in markets with different information disclosure rules. The self-selection leads to bad market outcomes as if all individuals are material payoff maximizers.