Working Papers

On Selecting the Right Agent  

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel, Kfir Eliaz and Daniel Fershtman

Online Appendix

Revision requested by Theoretical Economics

A principal must repeatedly assign one of two agents to some task. Profit is likely to be higher when the agent is qualified for the task, but qualification is unobservable. We fully characterize when the principal's first-best payoff is attainable, and identify a simple strategy profile achieving this whenever it’s feasible.

Bounded Rationality and Limited Datasets   
Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel

Peer-reviewed at NAJ Economic

Revision requested by Theoretical Economics

We adapt the classic, revealed-preference approach to new forms of revealed information. We apply our methodology to an array of bounded rationality theories, showing its versatility. We identify theories and datasets that are testable in the same elegant way as Rationality, as well as theories and datasets for which testing is more challenging.

Fairness Through the Lens of Cooperative Game Theory: An Experimental Approach

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel

Online Appendix

Revision requested by American Economic Journal: Microeconomics

We experimentally investigate how impartial observers allocate money to agents whose complementarity and substitutability determine the surplus each group can achieve. Analyzing the data through the lens of axioms and solutions from cooperative-game theory, a one-parameter model (mixing equal split and Shapley value) arises as a parsimonious description of the data. Three treatments establish the robustness of this qualitative conclusion, while also illustrating how context may impact the parameter estimate.

Communication, Perception and Strategic Obfuscation

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel 

Online Appendix

Supported by NSF grant 1559398

We develop the empirical content of simple Sender-Receiver games with costly perception, highlighting the fungibility between strategic inference and perception costs. Our framework yields crisp testable implications for equilibrium play, and lends itself to an experimental design that we take to the laboratory. 

Bargaining over Contingent Contracts under Incomplete Information  

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel and Jack Fanning

Online Appendix

We study bargaining over contingent contracts in settings where private information becomes verifiable when the time comes to implement the agreement. We suggest a simple, two-stage game incorporating important aspects of bargaining. We characterize equilibria where bargainers reach agreement, and study interim-efficient limits as bargaining frictions vanish. Under mild regularity conditions, all such limits belong to Myerson (1984)’s axiomatic solution. 

Relaxed Optimization: How Close is a Consumer to Satisfying First-Order Conditions?   

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel 

We propose relaxing the first-order conditions in optimization to approximate rational consumer choice. We assess the magnitude of departures with a new, axiomatically-founded measure that admits multiple interpretations, including in terms of price misperception. Standard inequality tests of rationality for any given reference class of preferences can be conveniently re-purposed to measure goodness-of-fit with that class. Another advantage of our approach is that it is applicable in any context where the first-order approach is meanginful (e.g., convex budget sets arising from progressive taxation). We apply these ideas to shed new light on existing portfolio-choice data.

Order-k Rationality    

Coauthored with Salvador Barberà, Geoffroy de Clippel and Alejandro Neme

A decision maker may find it good enough to maximize her preference over a large-enough consideration set; just pick something that  sufficiently well-ranked (e.g., in the top quintile); or even endogenously determine a threshold for what is good enough based on an initial sampling of options. Such natural heuristics are encompassed by a common theory of Order-k Rationality, which relaxes perfect optimization by only requiring choices from a set S to fall in the top k(S) elements. Heuristics aside, this departure from rationality offers a natural way, in the classic ‘as if’ tradition, to gradually accommodate more choice patterns as k increases.

The Empirical Content of Some Classic Assignment Methods    

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel 

We study the testable implications of serial dictatorship, stable many-to-one matchings, and the core of housing markets. We show that serial dictatorship is easy to test, and explain how elements of the power ranking between agents can be identified. Stability is easy to test for an interesting class of many-to-one matching problems, and tightly related to serial dictatorship. We provide an insightful characterization of the core of Shapley and Scarf (1974)’s housing markets using revealed top-trading cycles. This characterization proves useful in many examples, but also shows testing the core is generally NP-hard.

A Note on Categorization and Rationalization  

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel 

This note develops testable implications of these theories for limited datasets, applying the methodology from Bounded Rationality and Limited Datasets.

A `Dual' Improved Shortcut to the Long Run

This paper provides a duality-based improvement upon Ellison’s radius-coradius for evolutionary games.



Coming Soon


A Survey on Bounded Rationality in Choice Theory

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel 


Bad Repetition

Coauthored with Geoffroy de Clippel