Bio

For precise and concise information, download my CV here.

 

I am currently a Senior Research Officer at ESSEXLab and the Department of Government of the University of Essex. Prior to assuming this position I was a lecturer in Experimental Economics at the Economics Department of the University of Birmingham, and a fellow of BEEL, and before that a postdoctoral fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and the assistant to the director of CESS. I received my BA, MSc and PhD from the University of Valencia, where I had the enormous luck of working with Enrique Fatas at LINEEX. If I know something about experiments in social sciences, I learned it from him. In addition I have held visiting positions at CREED (Universiteit van Amsterdam) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

 

My major research and teaching interests are in the areas of behavioural science, political economy, public economics, economic voting and organizational behavior. My research consists of three main areas:

 

Firstly I have explored how the structure of organisational networks affects team production in collaboration with Enrique Fatas and Miguel Angel Melendez-Jimenez. A first article examines the influence of the organisational structure of a team on team production. Specifically, we show that information sharing within networks need not to be complete in order to ensure team production. In a follow-up paper, we develop a theoretical model that explains these results based on the degradation of information through the links in networks. Finally, in a third paper, we introduce the possibility of punishment between peers which makes the effect of different forms of organisational networks more pronounced. With another team of researchers that comprises cognitive scientists, computer scientists and economists, I have studied the effect of combining normative information with material punishment. A first article provides evidence that successful human cooperation is the outcome of the interaction between instrumental decision-making and the norm psychology humans are provided with.

 

In addition, I am conducting a research project exploring the behavioural determinants of tax compliance in collaboration with Raymond Duch. By means of laboratory experiments we examine the effects of tax rates, and auditing regimes on the degree to which participants in an experiment declare their gains. We find that tax compliance is moderated by individual characteristics such as risk-aversion, ideology and other-regarding preferences. I am also extending my research on tax compliance to examine the relationship between economic solidarity and redistribution and national identity. I have conducted a set of experiments together with Theresa Kuhn to understand how citizens’ willingness to redistribute depends on at which level (local/regional, national, European) the redistribution takes place, and how this is mediated by their degree of identification at each level. We use experimental methods to study these issues in the UK and Germany for now, but wish to expand our case selection in the future to less decentralized states.

 

Finally, I am involved in a project concerning accountability of political elites. In collaboration with Catherine de Vries and Sara Hobolt, I have developed an experimental design to study the accountability of governments for policy performance; a topic that has become increasingly important and relevant in the current context of austerity measures. We maintain that the ideological polarisation of voters biases the electoral punishment of incumbents for policy outcomes. Very recently I have started a project with Robin Harding to study whether people care about freedom to choose in democracy. More specifically, if voters care about the number or the nature of the choices they face at the ballot box. We propose to investigate this question using a general population experiment that employs a form of conjoint analysis.

 

Apart from all these things, what I still enjoy the most is having a beer and good conversations with friends.

 

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