Natural Strategic Thinking in the Lab, Brain, and Field

Natural Strategic Thinking in the Lab, Brain, and Field

Thursday, March 5, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027 1501


The 12th Annual Kenneth J. Arrow Lecture was delivered by Colin F. Camerer, Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics and Director of the T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience, at California Institute of Technology, on "Natural Strategic Thinking in the Lab, Brain, and Field."

This lecture discussed game theories in which not all agents fully think through what other agents are likely to do. These "cognitive hierarchy" models (including level-k) are consistent with a wide variety of simple and more complex lab and field experiments, some data on neural activity, and have also been usefully applied in basic areas of economics including industrial organization and macroeconomics.


Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences; University Professor, Columbia University

Karla Hoff, Visiting Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; former Lead Economist, World Bank

Rosemarie Nagel, Professor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Research Professor at ICREA and Barcelona School of Economics; Director of BESLAB, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 

Co-sponsored by: The Center on Global Economic Governance, the Program for Economic Research, and Columbia University Press.

Colin F. Camerer is the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Finance and Economics at the California Institute of Technology (located in Pasadena, California), where he teaches cognitive psychology and economics. Professor Camerer earned a BA degree in quantitative studies from Johns Hopkins in 1977, and an MBA in finance (1979) and a Ph.D. in decision theory (1981) from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Before coming to Caltech in 1994, Camerer worked at the Kellogg, Wharton, and University of Chicago business schools. He studies both behavioral and experimental economics.  
Karla Hoff is a Visiting Professor of Economics and International Affairs and was a lead economist at the World Bank before 2020. She co-directed the Bank’s World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society, and Behavior, an early synthesis of applications of behavioral economics to development economics. Behavioral economics in the 20th century demonstrated universal cognitive biases that can be addressed by changing the context of decision making. Behavioral economics in the 21st century showed that the social patterns to which individuals are exposed influence cognition and preferences in ways that can promote or impede economic progress. Karla is interested in how behavioral interventions can shift societies to better development paths. She has implemented lab-in-the field experiments in rural India to study stereotype threat, trust, third-party punishment, and the formation of conventions. She is currently evaluating a program of Theater of the Oppressed in West Bengal. She is an Associate Editor of The World Bank Economic Review and co-edited two books—The Economics of Rural Organization and Poverty Traps. She was a National Merit Scholar, majored in French at Wellesley College, served in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast, and earned a PhD in economics at Princeton University.
Rosemarie Nagel received her Ph.D. in economics in 1994 at the University of Bonn with Reinhard Selten as her advisor. In 1994-1995 she was a postdoc with Al Roth, University Pittsburgh. Since 1995 she has been working in the Department of Economics and Business in Universitat Pompeu Fabra; in 2006, she was promoted to full professor, and in 2007 she joined ICREA as a research professor. She is the director of the BESLAB in UPF and a research professor at the Barcelona School of Economics. Her main research is in experimental and behavioral economics, especially in macroeconomic experiments and in neuroeconomics. She has published in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies, Strategic Management Journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Nature Human Behavior, Financial Times, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, etc.
Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (US president's) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university's highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz's work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. His most recent books are People, Power, and Profits, Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, The Euro and Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy.