I am a PhD candidate in Economics at HSS at Caltech. My research is in
applied microeconomics and behavioral economics, utilizing experimental
methods. I am also particularly interested in applications in social
enterpreneurship and organizational design. My thesis committee members
are John Ledyard (advisor), Colin Camerer, and Tom Palfrey.
I am on the 2009/2010 Economics Job Market. Here are my:
Papers under revise and resubmit
Job Market Paper:
No Excuses for Good Behavior, with Margaret McConnell
This paper investigates the effect of excuses and monitoring on
voluntary contributions of time and effort through a lab experiment
where subjects are engaged in an actual nonprofit's operation. Starting
from Benabou and Tirole (2006) theoretical framework, we decompose
image concerns into stigma and visibility and analyze them within a
dynamic social enviroment.
When excuses are not available, the number of minutes volunteered
without affecting the quality of work. Social image concerns are
complex: while the presence of a larger audience of peers increases the
willingness to volunteer, the presence of a monitor reduces
volunteering. Furthermore, we see evidence of
non-linearities in stigma; subjects avoid being the first to stop
volunteering but are more likely to stop once others have stopped.
Prediction Market Alternatives for
Complex Environments, with Paul J. Healy, John Ledyard, and Richard Lowery
In many environments, prediction markets aggregate information and
accurately estimate the probability of future events. But, these
markets have typically performed
best in simple situations with many traders and few securities. We test
the standard prediction market mechanism in a complex environment with
and few traders. We compare its performance to three alternative
mechanisms for aggregating information. In the complex environment the
performance of the prediction
market is dominated by a simple iterative polling mechanism. We analyze
four behavioral conjectures that explain why the poll performs better
in the complex setting. pdf
Accounting for Noise in the Microfoundations of Information
Evidence from experimental asset markets of noisy and approximate
convergence to the full information posterior suggests that decisions
made using the output of information aggregation mechanisms are not
always optimal. This paper aims to identify "difficult environments"
where decision makers are better off relying on prior probabilities. I hypothesize that the mismatch between theory of full convergence and
actual outcome can be anticipated by the mechanism robustness to white noise. Using white noise, I ex-ante rank four information structures on the likelihood of improving
predictions about the states of the world using the Geanakoplos and Polemarchakis
(1982) posterior revision process. Through a laboratory experiment, I find that subjects' communication is persistently affected by
noise and the output of the process follows the ex-ante ranking. pdf
Relational Contracting under Threats of Economic Downturns, with Colin Camerer
This paper investigates the robustness of the "two-tiered labor market"
experimental results of Brown, Falk and Fehr (2004) by subjecting
relationships to stochastic interruptions. We study the impact of
exogenous random "downturns" in which firms cannot hire workers for
three periods. Surprisingly, the downturns do not harm aggregate market
efficiency and actually raise average efficiency per trade slightly.
The reason is that in the downturn sessions firms offer higher wages
and request more effort, workers exert a little more effort. pdf
Competition for Compliance: a Field Experiment at a Homeless Shelter with Tomomi Tanaka and Rajiv Sinha.
We investigate the effect of a savings competition among the homeless on the duration and intensity of voluntary compliance to a rehabilitation program.
Volunteering and Image Concerns with Margaret McConnell, California Institute of Technology Social Science Working Paper #1282
Does monetary incentives crowd out intrinsic motivation? We find that volunteering in a public setting signicantly
increases time volunteered. Monetary incentives have little impact,
although they are slightly more effective in a private setting. Our results suggest that organizations
have more to gain by catering to volunteers' image concerns than by
providing monetary benefits. pdf
Conference and Seminar Presentation
SISHOO (SISL-Yahoo!) Theory Workshop, Huntington Beach, December 2009 and 2007
Stanford Institute for Theoretical Economics (SITE), August 2009
WEAI Graduate Student Dissertation Workshop, June 2009
Santa Clara University, April 2009
Middlebury College Workshop on Philanthropic Mechanism Design, April 2009
4th IZA Workshop in Behavioral Labor, Bonn, Germany, October 2008
Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development
(BREAD) Summer School on Development Economics, Alba di Canazei, Italy,
Economic Sciences Association World Meeting, Pasadena, USA, June 2008
American Economic Association, ASSA 2008 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, January 2008
Caltech Brownbag Series, Pasadena, California, December 2007
Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization and
Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), 2007 Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia,
Economic Sciences Association, North America Meeting, Tuscon, October 2009, 2008, 2007
Economic Sciences Association, 2007 Asia Pacific Meeting, Shanghai, China, August 2007
SISL Seminar Series, March and June 2007, May 2009
Other stuff about me
My research falls under the Social And Information Sciences Laboratory (SISL) group. It's an interdisciplinary group composed of people from engineering, social sciences, and applied math.
I have been a board member of the Caltech chapter of Engineers For a Sustainable World for the past three years. We organize the ESW Fall Speakers series in conjuction with Professor Kenneth Pickar's Caltech-Guatemala service learning class: Product Design for the Developing World. Partial list of speakers we invited this year:
For the past two years we have also put together the Caltech Alternative Career Fair.
In my past life (1999-2003) I was a software engineer at Adobe Systems. My BS is in Computer Science. It comes in handy as an experimenter.
I am from Pontianak, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia. There is a big equator monument in the middle of town.
Will Halim's photojournalism portfolio
Boxing / kickboxing in Pasadena
Food here is awesome
LA Blues links