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Dr Pauline Vorjohann

Lecturer in Economics

5975

+44 (0) 1392 725975

0.46
Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK

Prior to joining the University of Exeter Business School in 2021 I was a PhD student in Economics at Humboldt University Berlin.

In my research I develop theoretical models to study behavioral biases and non-standard preferences. I use experiments to test the assumptions and predictions of my models.

Links

Research interests

  • Behavioral economics
  • Experimental economics 
  • Microeconomic theory

As a behavioral economist, I strive to understand human behavior in economic settings. In particular, I am interested in two distinctive features of human decision making that have far-reaching implications for the economy. First, humans make mistakes. Living in an overwhelmingly complex world, our capacity and willingness to deliberate our decisions down to the smallest detail is bounded. Second, humans are social beings. We don’t only care about our own well-being but derive joy from helping and supporting others. In my research I develop theoretical models to study such behavioral biases and non-standard preferences. I use experiments to test the assumptions and predictions of my models.

Research projects

Reference-dependent choice bracketing

I derive a theoretical model of choice bracketing from an axiomatic foundation. In my model a narrow bracketer is characterized by the inability to process changes from a reference point in different dimensions simultaneously.

 

Welfare-based altruism
(with Yves Breitmoser)

Why do people give when asked, but prefer not to be asked, and even take when possible? We show that standard behavioral axioms including separability, narrow bracketing, and scaling invariance predict these seemingly inconsistent observations.

 

Fake News
(with Steffen Huck and Georg Weizsäcker)

We model the transmission of information from a media outlet to an economic agent as a cheap talk game. The agent does not know whether she faces a truthful or a biased media outlet. We find that even a very small probability of news to be fake has a large negative impact on what an agent can infer from the media outlet's message.

 

Decomposing trust
(with Dirk Engelmann, Jana Friedrichsen, Roel van Veldhuizen, and Joachim Winter)

We decompose trust game behavior into its underlying factors using a novel experimental decomposition method. Our preliminary results suggest that beliefs are the main driver of trust, and that the additional components only play a role when beliefs about reciprocity are sufficiently optimistic.