"Behavioral economics aims at explaining the growing number of puzzling stylized facts about economic behavior. The distributional concerns are considered one of the sources of the deviations from rational behavior. Preferences over the beliefs of others is the other one. In existing literature only specific environments are studied under simplifying assumptions. This fragmented knowledge can potentially lead to bad policy decisions. In this project we plan to 1) create the state-of-the-art mathematical model that would allow to easily formulate hypotheses about the interaction between two sources of behavior and 2) conduct experiments using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that makes it possible to distinguish between the two types of preferences. The MRI approach in indispensable as it allows to falsify hypotheses that are hard to distinguish with only behavioral data.
The researcher has obtained his PhD in Economics from the University of Minnesota where he has received an outstanding training in economics, mathematics, experimental techniques, neuroscience and MRI technology. He has participated in all phases of two experimental MRI projects that gave him the best possible expertise in how to conduct MRI research. In addition his other specialization is theoretical game theory which will be used in the first part of the project. Maastricht University is currently one of the best schools in EU where such complicated research can be conducted. Department of Economics has all means necessary to fulfill the needs for the first part of the project. World famous researchers like Jean-Jacques Herings, Arno Riedl and Martin Strobel have the best expertise in the areas of economics that are needed. Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience provides one of the best facilities for MRI research in Europe. Economics and Psychology faculties work in tight connection which will make it possible for the researcher to apply his expertise in MRI research efficiently."
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