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David Pearce Lecture 2013

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Using Behavioral Economics to Influence Environmental Decisions
Rachel T.A. Croson, University of Texas at Dallas

The emerging field of behavioral and experimental economics has influenced our understanding of how individuals make environmental and resource allocation decisions. New research, however, investigates how those decisions might be influenced by subtle nudges. By strategically setting defaults, providing social information, and re-framing problems, policy makers can influence a wide variety of environmental and resource management decisions. This talk will discuss the origins and current state of this behavioral policy research, and will highlight open questions and opportunities for new explorations.

Rachel Croson received her PhD in Economics from Harvard University. After 13 years as an Assistant and Associate Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennyslvania, she moved to UT Dallas in 2007. She served as the Division Director for Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation from 2010-2012, and has recently assumed the role of Dean of the College of Business at UT Arlington. Croson’s research has centered on experimental and behavioral economics, investigating how people make a variety of economic decisions, including financial, charitable and risky. Her research draws on and contributes to many disciplines, and her work has been published in academic journals in multiple fields. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Aspen Institute, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She has served in a number of professional leadership roles, including Associate Editor for the American Economic Review, Management Science, and Experimental Economics, among others, and on the board of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, where she was pivotal in developing and running mentoring workshops.

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