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February 12, 2014

Job in Behavioral Finance at Allianz Global Investors in NYC

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SENIOR BEHAVIORAL FINANCE SPECIALIST POSITION

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The Allianz Global Investors Center for Behavioral Finance was founded in 2010 with the goal of turning academic research into actionable ideas and practical tools that financial advisors and retirement plan sponsors can use to help their clients and employees make better financial decisions. To respond to growing demand, the Center is creating the role of Senior Behavioral Finance Specialist to work on the communication, presentation and implementation of our programs and to educate internal stakeholders and clients on behavioral finance more broadly.
This position reports to the Director of the Allianz Global Investors Center for Behavioral Finance, though the behavioral finance specialist will collaborate with the Center’s Chief Behavioral Economist, Prof. Shlomo Benartzi, and other academic advisors working with the Center.
Location: New York City, with significant travel requirement.
Key Job Responsibilities

  • Serve as behavioral finance subject matter expert for sales and marketing teams and other internal AllianzGI stakeholders.
  • Train internal employees on the Center’s behavioral finance programs.
  • Present externally at client events and conferences.
  • Provide input on the development of the Center’s programs.
  • Write shorter pieces and contribute content for presentations.

Qualifications

  • PhD in behavioral economics or related field
  • Superb written and oral communication skills with ability to synthesize complex information and communicate it in an engaging way.
  • Ability to engage effectively with a wide range of people, including senior executives, academics, sales people, and clients of various kinds.
  • Capable of balancing priorities of simultaneous projects and demands.

Estimated Break-down of Responsibilities:

  • 20% – keeping abreast of academic research and competitive landscape.
  • 20% – content development.
  • 50% – travel, giving talks, attending client meetings.
  • 10% – responding to requests for information, inquiries, fulfilling other internal requirements, etc.

Those interested should contact Sarah Cossa, Allianz Global Investors HR, at Sarah.Cossa@allianzgi.com, and include a resume.

February 5, 2014

2014 Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality, Max Planck Institute, Berlin

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SUMMER SCHOOL ON SIMPLE SOLUTIONS FOR A COMPLEX WORLD, JUNE 10-17, 2014,

What: Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality
For Whom: Grad students and postdocs
When: June 10-17, 2014
Where: Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany
Application deadline: March 16, 2014
Famous JDM Alumni of this summer school: Many, many

Apply before March 16, 2014 via the online-application form: http://bit.ly/1epf6sb

We invite talented graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to the annual Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality hosted by Gerd Gigerenzer (Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition) and Ralph Hertwig (Center for Adaptive Rationality). The Summer Institute will gather distinguished scientists and 35 talented young researchers from diverse backgrounds for a conversation focused on the importance of simple solutions to the complex problems of the modern world.

Participants will be given access to the fundamentals, the methods, and the most recent and cutting-edge research on bounded rationality in various talks and small-group workshops. They and the invited faculty will present their research and learn, practice, and discuss how the simple can outperform the complex. The interactive format of the summer institute includes debate sessions and panel discussions, leaving plenty of room for exchanges between established researchers and fellow young scholars.

PROGRAMM
Planned highlights of the program include talks and workshops by:

Gerd Gigerenzer ++ Ralph Hertwig ++ Thorsten Pachur ++ Henry Brighton ++ Jan Woike ++ Shenghua Luan ++ Mirjam Jenny ++ Uwe Czienskowski ++ Hansjorg Neth ++ Odette Wegwarth ++ Juliane Kämmer ++ Tim Pleskac ++ Jens Krause ++ Peter Todd ++ Florian Artinger ++ Till Grüne-Yanoff ++ Markus Feufel …

COVERED EXPENSES
Participants will be housed in an attractive hotel in the city and will be given a stipend to cover part of the traveling expenses — intercontinental flights will be reimbursed up to 300 EUR (400 USD) while European travel from outside of Germany up to 150 EUR (200 USD).

INTERESTED?
For more details on the Summer Institute and the application process see the website http://bit.ly/1eT6d5f
Feel free to direct questions to us via email: si2014@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

January 30, 2014

Citation cartels

Filed in Articles ,Ideas ,Research News
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TRYING TO ESCAPE THE LONG TAIL OF THE UNIMPACTFUL

cit

We once heard ‘when you invent a system, you invent the game that plays that system’. We remember this from our time in industry. No matter how you’d choose to compensate salespeople, they’d find the loopholes and exploit them. Academics are no different. Enjoy this Nature News piece “Brazilian citation scheme outed“. The tale takes place in Brazil, but we’ve heard about shenanigans in other countries as well. No matter how you choose to measure academic output, academics will game it.

January 26, 2014

Dutch streetlights: Dimmed by default

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ENEGRY SAVING STREETLIGHTS THAT BRIGHTEN WHEN THEY SEE YOU COMING

The Dutch love their roadside sensors. We at Decision Science News learned this when we got a big fat speeding ticket at the Choice Symposium in Nordwijk last year. Now those clever Dutch have found another way to make the roads safer, streetlights that brighten up when they see you coming, as discussed in this Salon article. It saves electricity and reduces light pollution, sort of a no-brainer now that the technology is there. The smart lights can even detect a bicycle or a pedestrian.

Here’s a video that shows it in action.

With so much emphasis on behavioral nudges, it is nice to remind ourselves that much can be done by leaving behavior alone and making the everyday environment (which is largely artificial anyway) smarter.

Story H/T Adam Alter.

January 17, 2014

Kahneman interview

Filed in Encyclopedia ,Ideas ,Profiles ,Research News
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THALER INTERVIEWS KAHNEMAN

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When your field of research is judgment and decision making, it’s not every day you see a 45 minute interview on your topic. Or every week. Or every year. So when we were sent this interview featuring two JDM giants, Richard Thaler and Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, we knew we had to run it, even if it is from 2008.

Enjoy it: who knows when you’ll get to see another interview on judgment and decision-making (aka behavioral economics).

January 10, 2014

BDRM July 17-19, 2014 London Business School

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DEADLINE SOON: JAN 15, 2014

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Submissions for papers for both the 14th biennial conference on Behavioral Decision Research in Management (BDRM) and The Greater Good pre-conference will close on January 15, 2014.

Please submit via http://bdrm2014.org/bdrm2014-submissions/

BDRM is the leading conference for behavioural research conducted in business schools and will be held at London Business School, London, UK, from on July 17-19, 2014. We encourage submissions of original work in all areas of behavioural research including, but not limited to, decision making, consumer behaviour, experimental and behavioural economics, decision analysis, behavioural finance, organizational behaviour, negotiation, behavioural strategy, behavioural operations research, behavioural accounting, and medical and legal decision making.

We are glad to announce the following keynote speakers:

George Loewenstein, Herbert A. Simon Professor of Economics and Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

David Halpern, Director of the Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team (the ‘Nudge Unit’)

“The Greater Good” pre-conference in partnership with the Journal of Marketing Research will focus on behavioural decision research that can contribute to understanding and fixing pressing social needs. The pre-conference will take place at London Business School on July 17, 2014 and will end before the BDRM evening welcome reception.

The conference website http://bdrm2014.org/ provides all conference related information, including the Calls for Papers. For any additional queries please email us at bdrm2014@london.edu.

SEE YOU IN LONDON IN THE SUMMER OF 2014!

Simona Botti, London Business School
David Faro, London Business School
Yuval Rottenstreich, Rady School of Management, UC San Diego

January 3, 2014

Veggies by default

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PUTTING VEGGIES ON THE PLATE MEANS MANY GET THROWN AWAY

veg

We saw in our last posts that using double sided printing and cover sheets by default saves a lot of paper. This week we see a case in which defaults are effective, but have a costly drawback. Abstract says it all.

REFERENCE
Just, David &amp Joseph Price (2013). Default options, incentives and food choices: evidence from elementary-school children. PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION, 16 (12):2281-2288.

ABSTRACT
Objective: To examine whether requiring children to place fruits and vegetables on their lunch trays increases consumption of these items. Design: Observational study that exploited naturally occurring variation between two school districts and a pre-post observational study at schools that changed their lunch policy mid-year.

Setting: Fifteen elementary schools from two school districts, one requiring students to place a fruit or vegetable on their tray and one that does not. In addition, three schools that implemented a default option part way through the school year.

Subjects: Students at eighteen elementary schools (41,374 child-day observations) across the two experiments.

Results: Requiring that fruits and vegetables be placed on each child’s tray increased the fraction of children who ate a serving of fruits or vegetables by 8 percentage points (P < 0.01) but led to an extra 0.7 servings being thrown away per lunch served (P < 0.01). The default option approach cost $US 1.72 to get one additional child to eat one serving of fruits and vegetables for 1 d. However, when default options were combined with a small rewards programme the efficacy of both interventions increased.

Conclusions: A default option, as a stand-alone programme, had only a limited impact on fruit and vegetable consumption but was much less cost-effective than other approaches. Schools requiring children to take fruits and vegetables with their lunch might consider adopting additional interventions to ensure that the additional items served do not end up being thrown away.

December 27, 2013

Bounded Rationality Summer School at Max Planck, Berlin 2014

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SUMMER INSTITUTE ON BOUNDED RATIONALITY 2014

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Date: June 10-17, 2014
Location: Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany
Application deadline: March 9, 2014.

We invite talented graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to the annual Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality hosted by Gerd Gigerenzer (Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition) and Ralph Hertwig (Center for Adaptive Rationality). The Summer Institute will gather distinguished scientists and 35 talented young researchers from diverse backgrounds for an interdisciplinary summer school on the importance of simple solutions to the complex problems of the modern world.

Participants will be given access to the fundamentals, the methods, and the most recent and cutting-edge research on bounded rationality in various talks and small-group workshops. They and the invited faculty will present their research and learn, practice, and discuss how the simple can outperform the complex. This also involves debates and questions, allowing to network with internationally renowned researchers and fellow young scholars.

Planned highlights of the program include talks and workshops by:
Gerd Gigerenzer ++ Ralph Hertwig ++ Thorsten Pachur ++ Henry Brighton ++ Jan Woike ++ Shenghua Luan ++ Mirjam Jenny ++ Uwe Czienskowski ++ Hansjorg Neth ++ Odette Wegwarth ++ Juliane Kämmer ++ Tim Pleskac ++ Jens Krause ++ Peter Todd ++ Florian Artinger ++ …

COVERED EXPENSES
Our stipends cover accommodation including breakfast. The accommodation will be organized by us. The stipend also covers part of the travelling expenses depending on your means of transportation: Up to 300 EUR for Intercontinental flights and 150 EUR for European travel from outside of Germany.

INTERESTED?

Apply now via the online-application form.

For more details on the Summer Institute and on the application process see our website:

Feel free to direct questions to us via email: si2014@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

The application deadline is March 9, 2014.
We look forward to your applications!

With best regards from Berlin,
The organization committee

Organizing Team
Summer Institute on Bounded Rationality 2014
Simple Solutions for a Complex World
si2014@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

Jointly organized by
The Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition
& The Center for Adaptive Rationality
at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development

December 16, 2013

Why does printing cover pages save paper?

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MANY THEORIES

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One of the DSN editor’s cover sheets of staggering genius

Last week, we wrote about how setting printers to print double-sided by default saves paper. Kind of a no brainer. But we ended with a “counterintuitive coda” about how cover pages save paper. Counterintuitively, we were inundated with emails about the coda and none about the main finding. People wanted to know “How much paper did the cover sheets save?”, “Why does it work?” and so on.

HOW MUCH PAPER DOES IT SAVE?
According to a blurb by Microsoft IT “Our internal studies have shown that when banner pages are disabled, print volumes increase 15% to 17%”. That’s a big effect: That means you’re wasting a ream of paper every 6 reams you print. Interestingly, it’s quite close the paper savings associated with making double-sided printing the default (doubled sided: 15% decrease in paper consumption; cover pages:13-15% decrease).

WHY DOES IT SAVE PAPER?
Microsoft IT says it’s “because people end up picking up print jobs that don’t belong to them. When this occurs, missing print jobs are reprinted, which wastes time and money.”

While that sounds reasonable, we can imagine (with help from some comments from readers) some other reasons it might work. Here’s a running list of possibilities. Happy to add more if people think of them.

WHY COVER PAGES MIGHT SAVE PAPER

  • Without cover pages, people pick up print jobs that don’t belong to them, causing reprinting (as mentioned)
  • Without cover pages, orphaned print jobs left in the printer are thrown away instead of returned to their owners
  • With cover pages, the threat of public shaming gives people an incentive not to forget to pick up print jobs
  • With cover pages, the threat of public shaming makes people embarrassed about printing large jobs (or many jobs) in the first place
  • With cover pages, people are less likely to print one page when they realize that one cover sheet will be wasted by doing so

Note that the cover sheet is simply a default here, and can be switched off for any one job as desired.

All this talk of counterintuitive effects reminds us of a recent talk by a member of the UK’s Behavioral Insights Team (Nudge Unit). In the presentation, the member showed several versions of a form letter and asked the researchers in the room to guess which one had the biggest impact. The letter the researchers guessed would have the largest effect turned out to have one of the smallest impacts. Admittedly, the effect sizes were small, but it showed the importance of randomized experimentation and going beyond armchair theorizing in behavioral economics.

December 11, 2013

Duplex by default (and a counterintuitive coda)

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MEASURING THE BENEFITS OF CHANGING DEFAULT PRINTER SETTINGS

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Here’s a no-brainer application of benevolent defaults that has a provable, lasting change in paper consumption.

TITLE
Can Indifference Make the World Greener?

AUTHORS
Johan Egebark (Stockholm University) & Mathias Ekström (Norwegian School of Economics)

ABSTRACT
We test whether people’s tendency to stick with the default option can help save resources. In a natural field experiment we switch printers’ default settings, from simplex to duplex printing, at a large Swedish university. The results confirm that roughly one third of all printing is determined by the default alternative, and hence daily paper consumption drops by 15 percent due to the change. The effect is immediate, lasts throughout the experimental period, and remains intact after six months. We also investigate how the more conventional method of encouraging people to save resources performs, and find it has no impact. Recent theoretical and empirical contributions indicate that the default effect works through recommendation, depends positively on the number of alternatives in the choice set, and is reinforced for difficult decisions. We demonstrate that the default option matter in a simple, non-dynamic, decision task with only two alternatives, and where people have been explicitly informed about the recommended course of action.

 

COUNTERINTUITIVE CORNER
You would think turning off cover sheets on shared printers would reduce paper consumption. I mean, why waste a page every time you print? Well, Microsoft did an internal experiment. It turns out printing cover sheets actually reduced paper consumption. Boom. That’s why you’ve got to test your intuitions.