Siran Zhan, Liwen Zhang, Xueheng Li, and Yu Wu. “There’s no going back? The influence of prior entrepreneurial experience timing on voluntary turnover in post-entrepreneurship wage employment.” Personnel Psychology 77, no. 1 (2024): 131-164. [PDF]
Xueheng Li. “Designing weighted and directed networks under complementarities.” Games and Economic Behavior 140 (2023): 556-574. [PDF]
Xueheng Li, Lucas Molleman, and Dennie van Dolder. “Do descriptive social norms drive peer punishment? Conditional punishment strategies and their impact on cooperation.” Evolution and Human Behavior 42, no. 5 (2021): 469-479. [PDF]

Working Papers

Xueheng Li. “Indignation and the evolution of cooperation norms.” (2023). Submitted. Available at

  • Sociologists and psychologists have long argued that emotions are essential to sustain social norms. This study examines the role of indignation in upholding cooperation norms within society. I model indignation in a population psychological game and characterize the stochastically stable equilibrium in a noisy best-reply dynamic. The analysis yields two findings. First, indignation sustains cooperation in the long run, irrespective of whether interactions are global or occur within a fixed local interaction structure. Second, mobility between communities fosters the emergence, expansion, and persistence of cooperative communities, leading to positive correlations among mobility, community size, cooperation, and the punishment of defectors. This study demonstrates the application of stochastic stability analysis to address multiple equilibria in psychological games.

Yanlin Chen, Xueheng Li, and Tianle Song. “Influencer networks.” Available at

  • This paper examines the formation of influencer networks in user-generated content markets. Players decide whether to produce content, its quality, and whom to follow. Each strict equilibrium network is a nested upward-linking network where different levels of influencers can co-exist, with those at higher tiers providing higher-quality content and being followed by players in all lower tiers. Under a wide range of parameters, all payoff-dominant strict equilibria conform to the law of the vital few: a small yet significant proportion of players produce all the content. However, unlike previous models where the number of influencers is limited and their proportion diminishes rapidly to zero, the complementarity between influence and content provision causes the number of influencers to grow indefinitely with the population. For sufficiently large populations, a single nested upward-linking network connecting all players can emerge, even when players have heterogeneous preferences over content categories.

Work in Progress

 “The market for lemons and liars,” with Valeria Burdea.

“The structure of over-confidence and its gender gap,” with Zhang Xiaomeng, Shan Jin, and Wei Wang.

“Decomposability of games and the social comparison trap,” with Zhiwei Cui and Boyu Zhang.

— 2024 March 1 updated.