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Research Fellows


Zhihua Li

Zhihua joined WBS in 2014 after completing her PhD in Behavioural Economics at the Erasmus School of Economics.

Zhihua is primarily interested in "How people evaluate alternatives involving risk and uncertainty". To date, most experimental investigations of ambiguity have involved individual decision making when ambiguity is generated by some random mechanism or natural events. However, much uncertainty in life relates to the behaviour of others in interactive environments. This work tests the implications of subjective expected utility theory (Savage, 1954) when ambiguity arises from the actions of other people in a simple coordination problem. A second strand of Zhihua's research asked "How people make trade-offs between present and future." This research investigates how people trade off time and money when both time and money are associated risk. Another project examines to what extent people are subject to decision errors when they make binary decision under risk and to what extent probability weighting plays a role compared to utility, which also provides evidence to test some Non-Expected Utility theories such as Regret Theory, Rank Dependent Utility.

Indicative Publications

Li, C., Li, Z. & Wakker, P.. (2014) "If nudge cannot be applied: a litmus test of the readers’ stance on paternalism"
Theory and Decision 76(3): 297-315

Rebecca McDonald

Rebecca McDonald

Rebecca joined WBS in summer 2013 after completing her PhD in Economics (titled: "Context and Latency Effects in the Value of Preventing a Statistical Cancer Fatality") at Newcastle University. Rebecca has also worked as a research economist for DEFRA.

Rebecca researches the valuation of non-market outcomes, such as the value of health and the value of reducing risks of fatality. She seeks to address how these valuations are affected by context, timing and by the way that we elicit them, and provide guidance about how government resources can be allocated to best reflect public preferences. Her research also explores intertemporal choice, investigating how individuals make and break plans and how we choose between outcomes that occur at different points in time.

Indicative Publications

Chilton, S., Jones-Lee, M., McDonald, R. and Metcalf, H.. (2012) "Does the WTA/WTP ratio diminish as the severity of a health complaint is reduced? Testing for smoothness of the underlying utility of wealth function"
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 45: 1-24.

Lukasz Walasek

Lukasz Walasek

Lukasz joined WBS in summer 2013. He completed his PhD in Psychology at Essex University in 2012, after which he has worked as a lecturer before joining Warwick as a Leverhulme research fellow.

As part of the Leverhulme grant, Lukasz is involved in a range of projects exploring the psychological aspects of valuation. He is currently working on a Decision by Sampling account of loss aversion in risky (choice between gambles) and riskless (valuation of consumer goods) contexts. He is also studying how attention allocation can predict valuation in realistic consumer settings. Finally, he is working on agents based models of the effects of infectious diseases on group formation.

Indicative Publications

Walasek, L., Wright, R.J., & Rakow, T. (2014). Ownership status and the representation of assets of uncertain value: The Balloon Endowment Risk Task (BERT). Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

Walasek, L., & Stewart, N. (accepted). How to make loss aversion disappear and reverse: Tests of the decision by sampling origin of loss aversion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

Review of “Applied Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences”, by Christopher L. Aberson. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 10, 273-274.

>Review of “Perspectives on Framing”, edited by Gideon Keren. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 25(2), 215-216