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Emanuel Vespa

Welcome Associate Professor, Emanuel Vespa

Emanuel Vespa received his Ph.D. in economics from the New York University in 2012. He was an assistant professor at UC Santa Barbara prior to joining UC San Diego this fall. His primary interests are in experimental and behavioral economics and his appointment will strengthen UC San Diego’s standing in these fields. He has published 12 papers in excellent journals including the American Economic Review.

A first area of his research explores the connection between difficulties with contingent reasoning and decision making in economics. Contingent reasoning is a type of cognitive sophistication widely assumed in economic models in which individuals need to make informational inferences from hypothetical events. His work has documented that failures in contingent reasoning can explain many well-known discrepancies between observed behavior and theoretical predictions in economics. A second area of research focuses on understanding behavior in a class of games for which theoretical work does not produce clear predictions. More specifically, the theory predicts that many different types of behavior might be observed. Applied economists, who use these games to model economic problems, need to make strong assumptions to make predictions with little guidance. Manu has designed laboratory experiments that help produce empirical criteria to determine which assumptions are more reliable. His research in this area has received support from the National Science Foundation.

At UC Santa Barbara he received an Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award and at UC San Diego he will mentor students in his areas of research. He will to teach graduate and undergraduate courses in experimental and behavioral economics.