Yale SOM Hosts Behavioral Economics Annual Meeting

Leading thinkers in behavioral economics gathered at the Yale School of Management on May 13-14 for the Behavioral Economics Annual Meeting (BEAM), an event that has become the premier conference in the field.

About 70 scholars from universities across the U.S. and around the world attended the two-day event, which featured a variety of lectures and panel sessions.

“SOM is a natural to host because of the strong interest in behavioral economics at Yale,” said Nicholas Barberis, the Stephen and Camille Schramm Professor of Finance. “We have an excellent mix of speakers and topics this year. Behavioral economics is as vibrant a field as ever, and making inroads into many different parts of economics.”

Discussions examined issues as diverse as gender differences in community volunteering, optimal design for retirement accounts, and mistakes in healthcare decisions. Papers presented included “Regressive Sin Taxes,” “Alcohol and Self-Control: A Field Experiment in India,” and “Task Completion: Evidence from New York City Parking-Ticket Recipients.”

One of the conference’s founders, Barberis organized this year’s event with Ulrike Malmendier of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and Ted O’Donoghue of Cornell University.

Harvard’s David Laibson was one of the featured speakers this year, giving a talk titled “Optimal Illiquidity.”

“Behavioral economics is one of the fastest growing areas in academic research and in the practice of economics,” he said. “I’m very grateful to have the chance to share my work with this wonderful group and to be able to learn from them.”