Candidate Presentations

Past Presentations

Aiden Hajikhameneh, Ph.D.

Monday January 29, 2018  |  3:00-4:30pm  |  IRC 210

“God Games: An Experimental Study of Uncertainty, Superstition, and Cooperation”
(Laurence Iannaccone, co-author)
Abstract: This paper tests classic claims about the origins and functions of religion and superstitions. We do so by modifying the standard VCM public goods game, adding a god-like agent that adjusts group earnings in a manner that, though effectively random, might plausibly depend on rates of cooperation. Although players’ earnings and the agent’s adjustments are reported separately, the mere presence of adjustments induces radically higher rates of group investment – whether the adjustments are described as ”random” or ”chosen” by an AI who monitors investments. Investment patterns, survey responses, and group chat witness to superstitions that arise in response to risk and (especially) to uncertainty. Although some superstitions enhance group welfare, text-based chat turns encourages a counterproductive quest for magical numbers.
Preview/Download paper, "God Games" (pdf)
Download printable flyer, Hajikhameneh (pdf)

Paul Lombardi, Ph.D.

Dr. Lombardi earned his Ph.D. in Economics at UC Irvine, and currently holds a visiting Assistant Professor position at UC Davis. He has a strong interest in Economic History and economic development.

Thursday, February 1, 2018  |  IRC 101  |  3:30-5:00pm
All faculty, staff, and students are welcome!

“Transitory Income Shocks Made Permanent: The Plight of Farmers in the US Cotton South 1910-30”
Abstract: Black men born in the US Cotton South during the early twentieth century earned fifty percent less than their white counterparts. In this paper, I examine how transitory
economic fluctuations effect the employment choices of farmers. Using US Census data, I find a negative correlation between wage work and cotton production for black farmers.
The employment behavior of white households is unaffected by changes in cotton production. The results are consistent with black farmers using wage work as a coping mechanism in response to declining household incomes. The mechanism correlates with lower investments in human capital.
Preview/Download paper, "Transitory Income Shocks Made Permanent" (pdf)
Download printable flyer, Lombardi (pdf)

Phillip Li, Ph.D.

Dr. Li is a graduate of UC Irvine and has been working as a researcher at the Office of Financial Research (part of the US Treasury). He has a strong interest in Financial Economics and an interest in teaching econometrics. Dr. Li was born and raised in the area, and had friends and family members who attended SJSU.

Thursday, February 8, 2018  |  IRC 101  |  3:30-5:00pm
All faculty, staff, and students are welcome!

"Is Economics Research Replicable? Sixty Published Papers from Thirteen Journals Say 'Often Not'" (Co-authors: Andrew C. Chang and Phillip Li)
Abstract: We attempted to replicate 67 macroeconomic papers published in 13 well-regarded economics journals using authorprovided replication files that included both data and code by following a preanalysis plan. Defining replication success as our ability to use the author-provided data and code files to produce the key qualitative conclusions of the original paper, we successfully replicated 22 of 67 papers. Because we were able to replicate less than half of the papers in our sample even with help from the authors, we assert that economics research is often not replicable. We conclude with recommendations on improving replication of economics research.
Preview/Download paper, "Is Economics Research Replicable?" (pdf)
Download printable flyer, Li (pdf)