Research Projects

Reintegration of the Previously Incarcerated

  • We design a randomized control trial (RCT) to examine the impact of encouraging released inmates to use a program that offers comprehensive support services. The field experiment explores the extent to which small incentives can increase social service utilization rates and the marginal impact of service utilization on recidivism. 

The Precarious Work Study

  • The project is funded by the Social Science Research Initiative grant. This is a mixed-methods study focused on the experiences of full-service restaurant servers and the effects of their reliance on precarious wages in the form of customers’ voluntary provision of post-service gratuities. We also conducted an online experiment to study the effects of visually observing work on tipping.

Interview Project

  • The team interviewed around 240 servers/bartenders in Pennsylvania in 2020. The survey involves the tipped workers’ employment, financial situations, etc., both before and during the COVID-19.
    • Outcome Bias Experiment
      • We combined a theoretical model with experimental investigation of outcome bias and showed that visually observing workers' effort corrects asymmetry in how employers reciprocate effort through informing employers about the cost of effort.

Pitt Smart Living Human Behavior Lab

  • PittSmartLiving (PSL) is a $1.4M 3-year National Science Foundation project (NSF #1739413) hosted at the University of Pittsburgh to reduce public transit congestion. The PSL Human Behavior Lab uses applied economics theory and experiments to model the behavior of riders and businesses and design a market to connect the two. PSL is no longer active.
    • Bus Project
      • We identified instances of potential excess demand and showed through simulated data that this filtering can remove the bias introduced by the censored data observed/logged by the system that results in underestimating the degree of excess demand.
    • Got Toilet Paper?
      • During the 2020 supply shortages caused by Covid-19, we created a crowdsourcing data platform to aggregate information about shortages and congestion across supermarkets in Pittsburgh.
    • Queuing
      • We shed light on how the value of a queue evolves as people wait in line. We also disentangle the extent to which this evolution can be attributed to changes in prospective versus experienced wait under different queue characteristics.