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University of Exeter Business School

Dr Jingnan Chen

Dr Jingnan Chen

Senior Lecturer in Economics


 +44 (0) 1392 726294

 Streatham Court 0.39


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


Dr. Jingnan (Cecilia) Chen joined the Business School in September 2014 as Lecturer in Economics from the Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science (ICES) at George Mason University, where she earned her doctoral degree.


  • BS in Finance (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • MA & Ph.D in Economics (George Mason University)


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Research interests

  • Game Theory
  • Experimental Economics
  • Behavioural Economics

Deception is part of many important economic interactions, for example, insurance claims, job interviews, labor negotiations, regulatory hearing, and tax compliance. In those settings, people may increase their expected material gain by providing information that they believe to be false, a behavior predicted by standard economic theory. Yet, life experience as well as recent academic literatures shows that sometimes people do tell the truth at a cost to self. This stands in contrast to standard economic theory predictions. To better understand these behaviors, my current research focuses on deception and commitment within the context of free-style communication, and contribute to our understanding of deception and promises (e.g.Gneezy (2005), Charness and Dufwenberg (2006), Gibson et al.(2013)).

My research combines experimental methodology, game theory and insights from psychology and sociology. With those tools, I am able to further my understanding of pro-social behaviors (particularly deception and promises). My research involves testing implications of relevant behavioral theories, devising mechanism to foster pro-social behaviors, and identifying the limits of such mechanism.


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Journal articles

Fonseca MA, Chen J, Zhang X (In Press). How Much will Climate Change Reduce Productivity in a High-Technology Supply Chain? Evidence from Silicon Wafer Manufacturing. Environmental and Resource Economics
Chen JC, Fonseca MA, Grimshaw SB (2021). When a nudge is (not) enough: Experiments on social information and incentives. European Economic Review, 134, 103711-103711.
Chen J, Houser D (2019). When are women willing to lead? the effect of team gender composition and gendered tasks. The Leadership Quarterly, 30(6), 101340-101340.
Chen J, Houser D (2018). Broken Promises and Hidden Partnerships: an Experiment. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Abstract.
Chen J, Houser D (2017). Promises and lies: can observers detect deception in written messages. Experimental Economics, 20(2), 396-419. Abstract.
Chen J, Houser D, Montinari N, Piovesan M (2016). Beware of popular kids bearing gifts: a framed field experiment. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 132, 104-120. Abstract.
Chen J, Houser D (2012). Non-human Primate Studies Inform the Foundation of Fair and Just Human Institutions. Social Justice Research, 25(3), 277-297.


Chen J, Houser D, Christie A (2014). Ethics and Advances in Economic Science: the Role of Two Norms. In DeMartino G, McCloskey D (Eds.) The Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics, Oxford University Press.

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