Behavioural Economics


The behavioural economics cluster consists of Steven Bosworth, Sophie Clot, Marina Della Giusta, and Joo Young Jeon. The research topics of the cluster are quite broad: Steven’s interests centre on cooperation and prosocial behaviour, organisational economics, social identity and social norms. Sophie also studies cooperation and prosocial behaviour applied to environmental and development contexts. Her published papers have particularly studied the spillover effects that good deeds can have on future behaviour. Marina studies the consequences and determinants of social norms, particularly as they relate to gender. She has applied this prominently to the role of stigma in the market for sex work; and has also consulted with organisations to reduce unconscious gender bias. Joo Young’s research can broadly be segregated into two pathways. In the first pathway, she pursues behavioural and experimental research to understand social preference, conflict behaviour and gender difference. The second pathway relates to Industrial Economics and Competition Policy in which she is investigating collusion, and other topics in anti-trust and consumer policies.

All the members of the behavioural economics cluster share a methodological use of controlled experiments with the wider field of behavioural economics, but are distinctive in their interest in the social underpinnings of economic institutions, and how these forces generate economic disparities.

PhD students Wei-Fong Pan, Jim Chen, Anurag Srivastava and Shamsa Al Sheibani are also affiliated to the cluster. Wei-Fong works on behavioural finance, Jim on household finance, Anurag on behavioural biases in consumer choice and Shamsa on entrepreneurship decisions.



  • Grants in progress or application:
    • Marina: Pearson  Publishing, Research  contract CONTRASTING  UNCOSCIOUS  BIAS  IN SCHOOLS design, implement and evaluate via randomised control trial a programme of unconscious bias training for primary school teachers in Pearson Core Area Countries over the period September 2019-September 2021.
    • Marina & Sophie: Horizon 2020 application progressing to second stage – INHABIT (INclusive Health And wellBeing In small and medium size ciTies), .
    • Steven: National Institute for Economic and Social Research, Rebuilding Macroeconomics small grant on “Socioeconomic inequality and support for populism”, 2019-20.
    • Marina, Steven, James Reade and Carl Singleton: UROP project on “Finding ‘Moments of Truth’ for Sport Gamers”, 2019. This aims to test the effects of information feedback on participation in an online sports predictions platform.
    • Sophie: European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Food4Health project, “co-creating and evaluating strategies to help people change behaviour with respect to nutrition and physical activity”, March 2020 – September 2020.
    • Sophie: Economic and Social Research Council, “Relative poverty and decision-making: Investigating the impact of incentivised conservation programmes on poverty”, 2020-2022.
  • Events organised:
    • The Reading Experimental and Behavioural Economics Workshop has been hosted by the cluster twice, in June 2018 (Programme) and May 2019 (Programme). Keynote speakers at these events have been Sarah Smith, Phil Grossman, Marie Claire Villeval, and Jordi Brandts. The workshop gathers a small group of behavioural economists from southeast England and beyond to present and discuss research in progress.

REBEW 2019

Research led teaching