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About Me

Who Am I?

I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Economics at The University of Toronto.

My main research interests are in the field of applied microeconomic theory and experimental economics.

I am the manager of the Toronto Experimental Economics Lab (TEEL) . If you would like to participate in economic experiments, please sign up at here.

In the winter term, I am teaching ECO316 Applied Game Theory (third-year undergraduate course).

Coordination

Bandits

Hold-Up

Networks

Cups of coffee
Papers
Coauthors
Current courses
Research

Recent Working Papers

Bandits in the Lab with Nicolas Klein. April 2019

John McMillan Prize for the Best Paper in Economics by a PhD Student

We experimentally implement a dynamic public-good problem, where the public good in question is the evolving information about agents’ common state of the world. Specifically, we test Keller, Rady, and Cripps (2005)’ game of strategic experimentation with exponential bandits in the laboratory. We find strong support for the prediction of free-riding because of strategic concerns. We also find strong evidence for behavior that is characteristic of Markov Perfect Equilibrium: non-cut-off behavior, lonely pioneers and frequent switches of action.

Supplement to Bandits in the Lab.

Coordination in the Network Minimum Game with Hongyi Li. April 2019

We study coordination in the network minimum game: a version of the minimum-effort game where players are connected by a directed network. We show via theory and experiment that acyclic networks are most conducive to successful coordination. Indeed, introducing a single link to complete a cycle of dependencies may destroy coordination. Further, acyclic networks enable resilient coordination: initial coordination failure is often overcome (exacerbated) after repeated play in acyclic (cyclic) networks. We discuss implications for organizational design, especially the near-ubiquity of acyclic (e.g., hierarchical) structures in organizations.

Asset Ownership and the Hold-Up Problem with Richard Holden. May 2018

We study a contract environment with an ex-ante investment stage and where ex-post bargaining takes place under one-sided asymmetric information. We offer a model where only the presence of an outside option allows for approximately ex-ante efficiency. Without an outside option, any static or sequential mechanism performs worse, which we view as a rationale for the role of ownership allocation in contracting environments with asymmetric information. We take these theoretical predictions to a laboratory setting and find that outside options as implemented through asset ownership are valuable, not because of efficient ex-ante investment but because they reduce ex-post frictions.

Teaching

Courses

Game theory is a set of tools for studying situations in which decision-makers (like consumers, firms, politicians, and governments) interact. This course provides an introduction to game theory, with a strong emphasis on applications in economics. The objective of the course is to give students an understanding of the core concepts of game theory and how to use them to understand economic, social, and political phenomena. Through making decisions in classroom experiments students experience many different strategic situations first hand. In this course, we cover the following topics:

  • Strategic games and Nash equilibrium
  • Cournot’s and Bertrand’s models of duopoly
  • Hotelling’s model of electoral competition and the citizen-candidate model
  • Mixed strategy Nash equilibrium, with applications
  • Dominated strategies and iterated elimination of dominated strategies and common knowledge of rationality
  • Strategic games with imperfect information and auctions
  • Extensive games and subgame perfect equilibrium
  • Ultimatum game and holdup game
  • Repeated games and collusion in repeated duopoly
  • Extensive games with imperfect information and signaling games

The current syllabus can be found here.

Mathematics is an important part of theoretical and applied analysis in economics and business. This course equips students with a working knowledge of the most common techniques, providing the basis for their further studies. Topics include the mathematics of finance, matrix algebra, linear programming, as well as calculus and (unconstrained and constrained) optimization. Special emphasis is put on the illustration of the covered concepts and techniques with applications to typical problems in business and economics.

This course provides an introduction to basic analytical skills. The course provides a solid basis from which data analysis techniques and tools can be applied to solve business problems. Therefore, there is an emphasis on problem solving and business analytics by both manual and computer methods. The first six lectures focus on the use of quantitative methods and techniques. The second six lectures focus on the use of qualitative research methods and techniques

Additional Material

Supplement to
Bandits in the Lab

Here you can find examples of the interfaces subjects saw during the game, showing the evolution of the screen over time. In the top half (third) of her screen, a subject could see her own past actions and payoffs, while the bottom half (two thirds) of the screen showed her fellow group members’ actions and payoffs. A blue (red) part of the payoff curve indicated that the player used the safe (risky) arm over the corresponding period. The x-axis represented calendar time, while the y-axis gave the player’s cumulated total earnings up to each point in time. There was no prior indication of the point in time the game would end.

All four heatmaps show the total number of fixations. The accumulated number of fixations is calculated for an entire game. Each fixation made has the same value and is indepentent of its duration. A color gradient is used to indicate the areas with more fixations (low=green to high=red).

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Strategic Treatment with 2 Players

Watch the eye-tracking video here.

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Control Treatment with 2 Players

Watch the eye-tracking video here.

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Strategic Treatment with 3 Players

Watch the eye-tracking video here.

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Control Treatment with 3 Players

Watch the eye-tracking video here.

Supplement to
Coordination in the Network Minimum Game

Here you can find examples of the interfaces subjects saw during the experiments. At the start of the experiment, groups were randomly formed and subjects were randomly allocated a position within a network. Groups and positions were fixed throughout the experiment. Our experimental implementation in z-Tree not only indicated a subject's position within the network but also highlighted his personal ``watch-list" (neighbourhood). The position was highlighted in red color and the corresponding watch-list was circled in red color as well.

You can watch 5-6 minute videos subjects saw before starting the experiment. The videos explain each step (screen) of the experiment with an emphasis on the concept of neighbourhood (called "watch-lists") as well as the coordination game.

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3-player network: sparse & acyclic

Experimental implementation:

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4-Player network: sparse & acyclic

Experimental implementation:

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6-Player network: sparse & acyclic

Experimental implementation:

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

Watch the video here.

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Watch the video here.

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

Watch the video here.

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

3-player network: sparse & cyclic

Experimental implementation:

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4-Player network: sparse & cyclic

Experimental implementation:

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6-Player network: sparse & cyclic

Experimental implementation:

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

Watch the video here.

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

Watch the video here.

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

Watch the video here.

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

6-player network:
dense & acyclic

Experimental implementation:

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6-Player network:
dense & cyclic

Experimental implementation:

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12-Player network: dense & acyclic

Experimental implementation:

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Watch the video here.

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

Watch the video here.

HTML5 Bootstrap Template by colorlib.com

Watch the video here.

Get in Touch

Contact

Department of Economics, University of Toronto
Room 266, Max Gluskin House, 150 St. George Street