Behavioral Finance Research

The International Center for Finance is a leading center for research in behavioral science – specifically, research in the fields of behavioral decision-making, behavioral economics, and behavioral finance. Behavioral decision-making studies the basic psychology of decision-making, while behavioral economics and behavioral finance study the role of irrational thinking in economic and financial decision-making, respectively. Yale’s research efforts in these fields have been helped immeasurably by the generous support of Andrew Redleaf of Whitebox Advisors.

Behavioral Conferences and Events

Behavioral Conferences and Events

Behavioral Science Conference
The annual Yale Behavioral Science Conference provides a venue for leading researchers from across the world to present and discuss their ideas. While there are other academic conferences that focus only on behavioral decision-making, or only on behavioral finance, or only on behavioral economics, the unique feature of this conference is that it brings together researchers from all three fields. This approach is already yielding results in terms of new inter-disciplinary research, and we expect it to continue to pay dividends in the future.
Past Behavioral Science Conferences: 2014, 2013,  2011, 2010, 2009

Behavioral Economic Annual Meeting (BEAM)
BEAM brings together leading scholars in the  behavioral economics field to discuss their latest research. The two-day conference was launched after three behavioral economists—Nicholas Barberis of Yale, Ulrike Malmendier of UC Berkeley, and Ted O'Donoghue of Cornell—decided that their field lacked a good annual gathering where academics could discuss important new research. BEAM is held yearly at either Yale, Cornell, or UC Berkeley.
Past BEAM Conference held at Yale SOM: 2015, 2012

Whitebox Advisors PhD Student Conference
The Annual Whitebox Advisors Graduate Student Conference, typically held in conjunction with the Behavioral Science Conference, draws top doctoral students from around the world to present their research in the fields of Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Finance and Behavioral Marketing. The goal of the conference is to foster an environment to promote interaction amongst doctoral student researchers, and to provide feedback for students presenting their work in these fields.
Past Whitebox Advisors PhD Student Conferences: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

Yale Summer School in Behavioral Finance
The Yale Summer School in Behavioral Finance, which has been led since its inception in 2009 by Nicholas Barberis with support from the ICF’s outstanding staff members, is a one-week intensive course in behavioral finance for PhD students. The summer school was started because it became clear to SOM faculty that, while graduate students are very keen to learn about behavioral finance, few universities offer a systematic, graduate-level introduction to research in the area. The school is held every two years in the last week of June.
Past Summer Schools: 2015, 2013, 2011,  2009

Behavioral research projects

Behavioral research projects

Behavioral research projects funded with the generous support of Andrew Redleaf of Whiteboz Advisors that have been published either in journals or as working papers.


Do Monetary Incentives Undermine Performance on Intrinsically Enjoyable Tasks? A Field Test
Constança Esteves-Sorenson and Robert Broce

Financial Innovation, Investor Behavior, and Arbitrage: Implications from the ETF Market
Wenxi Jiang and Hongjun Yan 



Advice versus Choice
Jason Dana, Daylian Cain

Gift Exchange in the Workplace: Addressing the Conflicting Evidence with a Careful Test
Constança Esteves-Sorenson

The Unattractiveness of Hedges: Implications For the Conception of Risk Preferences
Shane Frederick, Andrew Meyer, Amanda Levis

An Essentialist Account of Authenticity
George E. Newman


Testing for Fictive Learning in Decision-Making under Uncertainty  
Oliver Bunn, Caterina Calsamiglia and Donald Brown

Revisiting Gift Exchange: Theoretical Considerations and a Field Test
Constança Esteves-Sorenson and Rosario Macera

Do Bonuses Enhance Sales Productivity? A Dynamic Structural Analysis of Bonus-Based Compensation Plans
Doug J. Chung, Thomas Steenburgh and K. Sudhir


Promotional Reviews: An Empirical Investigation of Online Review Manipulation
Dina Mayzlin, Yaniv Dover, and Judy Chevalier

Is Optimism Real?
Joseph P. Simmons and Cade Massey


Hope Over Experience : Desirability and the Persistence of Optimism
Cade Massey, Joseph P. Simmons and David A. Armor


Affective Decision Making: A Theory of Optimism Bias
Anat Bracha and Donald J. Brown

Revealed Preferences for Risk and Ambiguity
Donald Brown, Chandra Erdman, Kirsten Ling and Laurie Santos

Whitebox Advisors PhD Student Awards
Whitebox Advisors student fellows are selected by a committee of Yale faculty and receive funding to help with their research.  These student fellows are required to host a yearly graduate student conference.  Funding for this project is provided by Andrew Redleaf of Whitebox Advisors.

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Yale’s research efforts in these fields have been helped immeasurably by the generous support of Andrew Redleaf of Whitebox Advisors.