Yale SOM Hosts Top Academics In Behavioral Economics

Earlier this month, the Yale School of Management hosted the Behavioral Economics Annual Meeting (BEAM), a four-year-old conference that brings some of the top figures in behavioral economics together to discuss their latest research. Academics from the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Peking University presented papers during the two-day conference, held May 16 and 17.

The 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. The event took place at Yale for the first time this year, having previously been held at Berkeley and Cornell. Barberis, the Stephen & Camille Schramm Professor of Finance, said that BEAM has been a real success, attracting every well-known researcher in behavioral economics. "This is an exciting time in behavioral economics—the field is progressing rapidly," Barberis said. "Yale is a natural place to hold the conference—a number of SOM faculty are very active in this area of research."

Papers addressed at BEAM included: "Why are Benefits Left on the Table? Assessing the Role of Information, Complexity, and Stigma on Take-up with an IRS Field Experiment"; "The Market for Deceptive Products"; and "Projection Bias in the Car and Housing Markets." Shane Frederick, Yale SOM professor of marketing, presented his paper "A Reference Price Theory of the Endowment Effect."

Yale's research efforts in behavioral science—and the BEAM conference in particular—have benefited greatly from the generous support of Andrew Redleaf, an alumnus of Yale College.