Publications


Foundations of Intrinsic Habit Formation 

Econometrica, 78(4):1341-1373, July 2010

[download the online appendix]  

This paper provides axiomatic foundations for a nested family of habit formation models, based on an intertemporal theory of weaning a decision-maker from her habits using the device of compensation. 


Competing for Consumer Inattention

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel and Kfir Eliaz

Journal of Political Economy, 122(6):1203-1234, December 2014 (lead article)

How do markets respond when consumers are able to examine only a limited number of markets for the best price? Limited attention introduces a new dimension of cross-market competition, and having consumers who are only partially attentive increases consumer welfare. 


Conflict Leads to Cooperation in Demand Bargaining

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 87:35-42, March 2013

[download a related article I wrote for VoxEU] 

The myopic actions of players may lead to the break up of groups in the short run, but can ultimately bring about a situation from which a strictly self-enforcing allocation can be reached. 


Wasteful Sanctions, Underperformance and Endogenous Supervision

Coauthored with David Miller

American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 6(4):326-361, November 2014 

What do optimal contracts look like in teams where agents have many opportunities to shirk, tasks can be stochastically infeasible, and incentives are provided informally, using wasteful sanctions like guilt and shame, or slowed promotion? Despite symmetry of players and tasks, these features lead to the optimal concentration of supervisory responsibility in the hands of one or two agents. 


History-Dependent Risk Attitude

Coauthored with David Dillenberger

Journal of Economic Theory, 157:445-477, May 2015

We allow a decision maker’s risk attitute to be affected by his history of disappointments and elations. We establish equivalence between the model and two cognitive biases: risk attitude is reinforced by experience (there is greater risk aversion after disappointment than elation) and there is a primacy effect (early outcomes have the greatest impact). 


Rationalizing Choice with Multi-Self Models

Coauthored with Attila Ambrus

Economic Journal, 125:1136-1156, June 2015

Do models where multiple selves or individuals are aggregated into a collective decision have testable implications? Our negative result holds for a large class of models, even when the researcher has a fully specified theory of how preferences are aggregated. 


Optimism and Pessimism with Expected Utility 
Coauthored with David Dillenberger and Andrew Postlewaite

Journal of the European Economic Association, 15(5), October 2017

We show Savage’s axioms admit a continuum of other “expected utility” representations, where probability distributions over states capture forms of pessimism or optimism. Optimists, pessimists, and standard Savage agents can be distinguished if the choice domain includes subjective acts and objective lotteries.